Red flag warning extended for leeward Big Island areas

A red flag warning has been extended for leeward areas of the Big Island through Wednesday afternoon due to the threat of extreme fire conditions.

Gusty winds in combination with dry fuels and low relative humidity levels will cause elevated fire danger through Wednesday afternoon. Any fires that develop will spread rapidly and be difficult to control, the National Weather Service said Tuesday afternoon.

East to northeast tradewinds of 15 to 25 mph with locally higher gusts reaching 40 mph are forecast through 6 p.m. Wednesday. Humidity is forecast to be around 35% to 45% during the afternoon hours.

A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior. The warning does not predict new fire starts.