Richmond County and the rest of central North Carolina has been issued a Red Flag Warning by the National Weather Service that will be in effect until 8 p.m. tonight.
A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly.
The combination of dry fuels, strong gusty winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures will create dangerous fire weather conditions across central North Carolina.
Winds can reach up to 30 mph today, and temperatures in the mid 80s are expected.
Fine fuels remain very dry across the central part of the state. Any fires that occur are likely to quickly spread out of control.
The National Weather Service issued a Special Weather Statement for most of the state, calling for increased fire danger for Thursday.
A cold front will move southeast through the area early Thursday. Behind this front sustained winds from the northwest at 15 to 20 mph will gust up to 25 to 30 mph. As dry air moves in, relative humidity values will drop to 24 or 30 percent across the area in the afternoon. These blustery winds and dry air combined with dry fuels and tree litter will result in an increased fire danger on Thursday.
Residents are encouraged to postpone any burning through Thursday and to properly extinguish all smoking materials. Many destructive wildfires are started each year due to improperly discarded smoking materials.