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Wildfire Danger Ratings

The National Fire Danger Rating System allows fire managers to estimate the current fire danger for a given area.

Red Flag Warning

A Red Flag Warning is a short-term, temporary warning indicating the presence of dangerous combinations of temperature, wind, relative humidity, and fuel conditions which can contribute to the rapid spread of new or existing wildfires.

A Red Flag Warning can be issued at any fire danger level listed below.

Understanding Wildfire Danger Ratings


Low (L)

Favorable conditions. Wildfire ignitions are unlikely. Weather and fuel conditions will lead to slow fire spread, low intensity, and relatively easy control. Outdoor burning is safest.

Moderate (M)

Cautious conditions. Wildfires may be expected. Wildfires will ignite and spread but are usually not difficult to contain. Outdoor burning should be restricted to early morning and late evening while avoiding windy conditions.

 High (H)

Dangerous conditions. Wildfires ignite easily. Fires spread rapidly and are difficult to control under windy conditions. Outdoor burning is strongly discouraged.

Very High (VH)

Volatile conditions. Wildfires start easily and spread rapidly with increased intensity.  Fires are very difficult to control. Outdoor burning should not occur.

Extreme (E)

Extreme conditions. Wildfires start and spread rapidly. Every fire start has the potential to become a large wildfire. Outdoor burning should not occur.