News from the DNR Office of Communications

Dry Conditions Increase Wildfire Danger

NWS issues Red Flag Warning

Annapolis, Md. (February 18, 2011) – The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag warning for all of Maryland except far western Allegany and Garrett Counties. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is encouraging Marylanders to check the DNR website regularly for forecast updates.

“We’re asking all Marylanders in these parts of the State to be cautious,” said Monte Mitchell, State Fire Service Supervisor. “During critical fire weather conditions such as this, people should not do any type of outdoor burning as it could quickly spread into a wildfire.”

Red Flag Warnings are issued for a combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and dry fuel conditions that will create the potential for explosive fire growth.

Critical fire weather conditions have spawned 21 wildfires in the past week that have burned 5,687 acres. It is critical that citizens take precautions to prevent any wildfire starts during these types of conditions stated Monte Mitchell, State Fire Supervisor. Debris or outdoor burning is the leading cause of wildfires in the state.

If you would like more information, please contact Monte Mitchell, State Fire Supervisor with the DNR Forest Service at 410-260-8503.

   February 18, 2011

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 461,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries, and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic, and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at