Do you understand Fire Weather Watch and Red Flag Warning criteria?


The National Weather Service issues a watch or warning when critical fire weather elements (temperature, wind speed and relative humidity) are forecast to produce low fuel moisture and the potential for rapid rates of fire spread. This system of alerting the public and emergency responders is similar to the watch/warning system utilized for conveying information about impending severe weather.

A Fire Weather Watch is issued when critical fire weather is expected within 72 hours.

A Red Flag Warning is issued when critical fire weather is imminent.

In Oklahoma, critical fire weather criteria are met:

  •  during the dormant season (late fall through early spring) when temperature is 65° or higher, wind speed is 20 mph or higher, and relative humidity is expected to be 20% or lower.
  • In the growing season (late spring through early fall), the criteria are 95°↑, 20 mph↑ and 20%↓.

When a watch or warning is issued, please avoid outdoor activities that may spark a wildfire!