National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

For the current Fire Weather Planning Forecast and other useful information, go to the Northern Indiana Fire Weather Page


What does a Enhanced Fire Danger or Red Flag Warning Mean?

While the Northern Indiana forecast area is fortunate enough to not have the forest fires that plaque the western states, we are NOT exempt from fire dangers.

Red Flag conditions (higher fire danger) occur when the following criteria are met or exceeded

  1. Sustained wind speeds of 20 mph or frequent gusts above 20 mph for at least 3 hours
  2. Relative humidity values at or below 25 percent for at least 3 hours
  3. In Indiana and Ohio only, 10 hour fuels (small twigs, branches, grass and leaves) have a moisture content of 7 to 8 percent or less
  4. In Michigan only, air temperatures must be 75 degrees or warmer

If the above conditions are forecasted to occur, either a Fire Weather Watch or Red Flag Warning may be issued. This decision is made in coordination with local, state, federal and tribal land managment officials. If conditions are not met (or are close to being met) and in the opinion of both the fire weather forecaster and land management officials unsafe burning conditions will exist, then the risk is highlighted by using the "Enhanced Fire Danger" statement. This allows the public as well as local fire officials to be aware of the increased risk of fires spreading out of control and allows for resource allocation in the event of a fire.

Regardless of any headlines or statements that may be in effect, residents should follow any local or state burning policies, including temporary bans. In a matter of minutes this...