The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for Fairfax County and the entire Washington – Metro area TODAY (4/3/19) from 12 p.m. until 8 p.m.
A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly. A combination of strong winds (15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph), low relative humidity, and warm temperatures may promote the rapid spread of outside fires/wildfires.
These conditions are ripe for an improperly discarded cigarette, thrown into mulch or other brush, to spark a significant fire that can then spread to homes and buildings. On March 31, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue responded to 13 fires in mulch beds that were more than likely started by improperly discarded smoking materials. Some were close to homes/buildings!
So far in 2019, there have been nine significant fires caused by improperly discarded smoking materials! Monetary damages for the nine fires is approximately $914,963!
All nine fires were totally preventable! Spring Into Safety and “Sink It or Soak It!”
The members of your Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department want to help eliminate this totally preventable cause of fire and keep Fairfax County safe! If you smoke, or know someone who does, please take a moment to learn how to prevent starting a fire outside.
- Never dispose of cigarette butts in potted planting soil. The soil, when it gets too dry, can become highly flammable.
- Never flick cigarettes into mulch or shrubbery. Dispose of them in a suitable ashtray or bucket with sand. Ensure designated outside smoking areas have an appropriate fireproof container, ashtray or bucket.
- Completely douse butts and ashes with water before throwing them away, as they can smolder and cause a fire.