The National Weather Service has issued a fire weather watch across Central Maryland for Wednesday, warning of a risk of wildfire spread.
With relative humidity down around 25 percent, gusty winds up to 30 mph and dry brush and twigs, the advisory is in effect from Wednesday morning through Wednesday evening.
"OPEN BURNING OF ANY TYPE IS CONSIDERED VERY HAZARDOUS THIS TIME OF YEAR," an earlier special statement cautioned. "ACCIDENTAL ESCAPED DEBRIS BURNS ARE THE NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF WILDFIRES.
The state is coming off of a relatively mild wildfire season for 2012. The 837 acres burned last year was just more than a tenth of those burned in 2011.
Spring and fall are the most dangerous times for wildfires, according to the state Department of Natural Resources. When rainfall levels are adequate, wildfires can still be intense but may not last as long as they might in drier conditions.
After the state spent much of spring and summer 2012 in varying drought conditions, drought is considered to be absent across Maryland, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. So far this year atBaltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, 8.23 inches of rain has fallen, shy of the norm of about 10 inches.
The winds are meanwhile bringing some pain for allergy sufferers. Tree pollen has again reached high levels, according to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology's National Allergy Bureau. Maple, elm and poplar pollen are abundant in the air, according to the Weather Channel.
Tree pollen was reported at high levels both Monday and Tuesday, after a two-week reprieve. The allergens reached high levels around March 11-12, according to the allergy bureau. The Weather Channel forecasts high levels to linger into Wednesday, dropping off Thursday and Friday as rain arrives.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun