Dry and windy conditions pose fire risk in Massachusetts on Friday

A "red flag warning" for most of Massachusetts, excluding the Cape and the Islands, begins at noon on Friday. The National Weather Service issued this warning because the risk of brush fires is dangerously high.

A trifecta of weather conditions — dry ground, gusty northwest winds and low humidity — prompted the warning. The Cape Cod and the Islands were excluded from Friday's fire-risk zone because rain fell Thursday night.

Red flag warnings are not uncommon in early spring, said NWS meteorologist Frank Nocera. However, he does urge residents to be careful.

"Today is a day where fires can easily spread and get out of control so you need to use caution and common sense," Nocera said.

This phenomenon is so typical that weather experts have a name for it: the "pre-green up" stage. Nocera says this means there aren't a lot of leaves on the trees as vegetation is still dormant, and the twiggy branches provide good fuel for fires.

The best thing people can do is avoid burning anything, he said.

The warning is expected to remain in effect until 8 p.m. Friday.

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