PDT Staff Writer
Scioto County is under a hazardous weather outlook because of rising temperatures and low humidity, which can lead to brush, grass and forest fires. The National Weather Service says low relative humidity values, moderate northerly winds and dry surface conditions across the area will create an elevated fire danger today, and at least through Thursday.
“Ninety-one percent of the state is abnormally dry,” said Mike Bowden of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. “We’re starting to have some grass fires from mainly just carelessness — people not putting out a campfire or flicking a cigarette butt into dry grass.”
Bowden said, with Shawnee Forest a major part of the county, people need to be constantly aware of hot, dry conditions and their potential to turn into a fire.
“This time of year we don’t have wildfires, but because it has been dry, and it’s hot, and we don’t have any rain in the near future, people just need to be cautious when they are doing things with heat sources, whether they are doing something like welding — there’s dry grass — and that could start a fire,” Bowden said. “Or if they are out doing any open burning, they need to make sure that they take precautions so that it doesn’t escape.”
An upper level ridge will build into the region through Thursday. That ridge will become suppressed Friday into Saturday as a weak frontal boundary sinks slowly south toward the area. Hot temperatures for late June are anticipated with near-record or record highs in the upper 90s to the lower 100s expected Thursday. Those temperatures will combine with modest humidity values to push heat index values to around 100 degrees on Thursday. Temperatures will cool slightly for Friday through the weekend. Heat index values will still be in the 90s to around 100 degrees on Friday.
The NWS says heat headlines, or warnings, will likely be needed on Thursday. They might also be possible on Friday. However, that will depend on thunderstorm development across the area.
“This is just sort of a heads-up that, hey, whether you’re aware of it or not, the conditions exist for fires to break out,” Bowden said.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.