(WOWK) — High wind gusts and dry air have led to reports of numerous brush fires since Thursday with even more problems across the area on Friday afternoon.
The combination of high wind and low humidity is driving the fires. The relative humidity is down below 30% with the strong wind gusts which is drying out all of the dead leaves on the forest floor, making them easy to ignite.
Numerous fires have been reported Friday afternoon in Mingo, Wayne, Mason and Jackson counties in West Virginia and “hot spots” can be detected using satellite (red dots below) in Logan and Wyoming counties.
In Kentucky, the National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning – which means no open burning.
The Red Flag Warning ends at 6 p.m. Friday but the wind gusts can still be up around 20 mph until later in the evening. The Kentucky Mesonet readings today have clocked wind speeds of up to 42 miles per hour at Louisa.
Our Predictor indicates that winds really drop off well below 20 mph after about 9 p.m. which will help drop the fire danger substantially.
Rain is expected late at night which will help the situation. Our Future Road Conditions product can be used as a proxy for areas that will see wet ground and it shows a larger area with damp soil or road surfaces late Friday night as seen below.
Look for brush fire conditions to diminish with the arrival of the rain and the winds dropping off a few hours after sunset Friday night in the region.
Stay tuned to WOWK-TV 13 for more on the brush fires. Download and use the StormTracker 13 weather app for more on the changing weather patterns at the link below.