Dry weather streak can increase risk of brush fires

Weather News

(WWLP) – The weather has been bright and rain-free but being too dry can cause problems such as brush fires.

So far this month we’ve had 1.13 inches of rain at Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee. By now we should have had 1.95 inches for the month so we are running a rainfall deficit of 0.82 inches and counting.

For the year so far it’s an even drier story. We’ve had 16.5 inches of rain and melted snow in the lower pioneer valley, but we should have 19.15 inches since January 1. We’re running 2.65 inches drier than we should be.

The lack of rain is helping to contribute to higher brush fire concerns. It’s dried out the vegetation. Plants, grass, and trees aren’t as dry as they should be at the beginning of spring before green-up and leaf-out, but the lack of rain is slowly taking away their moisture. The lower humidity in the air is making things more comfortable but also contributing to a higher brush fire risk.

Thankfully we haven’t had much wind lately which would serve to further dry out vegetation but also help to move a fire once it gets started. You still need to be careful with fires and disposing of smoking materials appropriately.

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