Despite Recent Rains Fire Risk Increases

Posted at 4:52 PM, Apr 28, 2013

WEST MICHIGAN – You’d never believe with the seven to nine inches of rain many areas saw over the past two weeks that there could ever be an elevated fire risk with the ground so saturated.

According to the National Weather Service, multiple wildfires have already been reported across areas well north and west of Grand Rapids in the last three days. Fire indices indicate our northern counties are drying out while the central and southern areas still remain in check.

The latest discussion from the NWS indicates a red flag warning may be needed for some areas this week as temperatures climb, low relative humidities occur, and winds begin to increase. The warning is issued to bring heightened awareness to these conditions as temperatures soar in to the 70s, relative humidities dip to 25 percent of lower (indicating very dry air), and sustained/frequent wind gusts of 15 to 20 mile per hour. We have a fairly good chance of attaining each one of these criteria…although the RH may be the difficult one to achieve. 

You can click herefor more fire weather information. While there are several chance for rain this week, we are not expecting the deluge that occurred last week and the week before. Temperatures will be on the mild side through Wednesday before dropping off in to the 50s and 60s again.

By the way, only two areas remain under FLOOD WARNINGS due to high river levels. The Grand River at Comstock Park, expected to fall below flood stage by Tuesday morning. And along the Grand River in Robinson Township in Ottawa County, expected to fall below flood stage Monday afternoon. Get the complete West Michigan forecast here.