Today a fire in the Arthur Kills sent plumes of heavy smoke visible from New Jersey and across roadways causing great traffic delays along the Staten Island Expressway.
The sunnier, drier weather we enjoyed this winter is causing extremely dry conditions that are spreading fires in the New Jersey Tri-state area and creating "Red Flag" alerts for our area.
Nearly 600 acres burned this weekend in Southern New Jersey and 400 acres burned last week in Winslow Township. In Mahwah, Hasbrook Heights, Teaneck, Rochelle Park and Saddle River, Bergen County, firefighters fought fires and said "red flag" alerts remain until further notice.
It appears the drier conditions, low humidity and winds with gusts of up to 30 miles per hour are fueling the fires and causing alarm according to the National Weather Service.
The National Weather Service said "Red Flag" alerts, the strongest fire advisories it issues, means "that critical fire weather conditions are expected or occurring. A combination of strong winds ... low relative humidity fuels will create a significantly elevated fire potential."
Residents are cautioned not to light outdoor fires.
To learn more about the National Weather Service advisories visit http://goo.gl/AqqQQ