Red flag warning system on display in Nevada County (VIDEO/PHOTO GALLERY) | TheUnion.com

Red flag warning system on display in Nevada County (VIDEO/PHOTO GALLERY)

A visual red flag warning system was unveiled Tuesday at the Grass Valley Air Attack Base.

Representatives from over 14 Nevada County-based fire agencies as well as the Nevada County Fire Safe Council and Office of Emergency Services gathered to announce the system being implemented in front of fire stations an government offices countywide.

“We are dealing with the ever-changing information stream identifying all the sources used to communicate whether they are elevated hazards to our communities or special situation alerts,” Nevada County Consolidated Fire Captain Nathan Menth said.

“We have recognized that reaching our population in its entirety can be challenging. And in attempts to address the challenge that we face, we have come up with a red flag warning flag that will be displayed out in front of over 42 fire stations county wide and other official offices.

“These flags that you see on display today are visible, clear and to the point, allowing quick easy identifiable messages alerting the public during declared red flag events,” Menth said.

Red flag declarations are determined by the National Weather Service with stipulations such as strong winds in excess of 25 mph, high temperatures, low humidities typically below 20%, dry fuels and the possibility of lightning strikes. The combinations of these weather events can lead to easier ignitions of new fires and greater and faster spread of new or existing fires.

“With these flags we can capture commuters, visitors, and the general population very effectively and they can know that their actions related to fire safety needs and that they need to be in a heightened state,” Menth said.

During a red flag warning, people are asked to postpone yard work such as weed-eating or mowing. Residents are also asked to check tires are properly inflated to prevent a blowout that could lead to a spark, and also eliminate all sources of open flames.

“People don’t ignore warnings regarding tornados or hurricanes, we can’t afford to ignore red flag warnings either,” Nevada County Office of Emergency Services’ Captain Jeff Pettit said. “Red flag days should be thought of as any other extreme weather event. We would like people to prepare for red flag days just like they would any other extreme weather event.

Having a go bag ready, making sure that your vehicle has a full tank of gas, and backing your car into your driveway are just some preparedness tips to keep in mind during a red flag warning.

For more information and other material regarding safety topics, visit http://www.readynevadacounty.org.

To contact Multimedia Reporter Elias Funez email, efunez@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.


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