View Full Version : Do You Cook Outside During Fire Weather Warnings?

11-07-2010, 08:55 AM
I found this in my Inbox this morning:

Fire Weather Warning Statement
as of 2:27 AM CST on November 07, 2010

... Red flag warning remains in effect from noon today to 6 PM CST
this evening for gusty winds and low humidity for fire weather zones . . . etc.

* affected area... in Kansas... northeast... east central and north

* Wind... Sunday afternoon wind speeds are expected to rise into
the 20 to 25 mph range with frequent gusts over 35 mph.

* Humidity... afternoon mixing will bring dry air to the
surface... and drop in afternoon relative humidity into the
upper teens.

* Impacts... these weather conditions will combine with
critically dry and cured vegetation to produce the potential
of extremely dangerous fire behavior... with rapid growth and
rapid spread potential.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions
will occur Sunday afternoon. A combination of dry fuels... strong
winds... low relative humidity... and warm temperatures will create
explosive fire growth potential.

Explosive fire growth potential. Hmm. Doesn't sound too safe.

I was going to cook some ribs this afternoon.

I'd like to know what others think about firing up chimneys of charcoal on days like today . . . and with this warning in place.


/David C.

BBQ Grail
11-07-2010, 09:00 AM
It would depend on where I lived within the area. Here in Northern California we get similar warnings. As you've probably witness in the news we get some wicked firestorms. And they are usually started by some careless boob who doesn't pay attention to their fire.

Since I don't have a stick burner and usually use by Traeger or WSM I feel I'm okay, especially if I move the cooking device around to the front of my house on the driveway.

If I was living in a more rural part of my county I probably would wait for another day. The thought of a spark from my cooking device starting a fire that destroy peoples homes or businesses would be much more than I could handle. Not to mention getting the bill for fighting the fire.

11-07-2010, 09:45 AM
When we have a high-fire danger warning, I leave the stick burner idle and fire up the Stumps. Like the boy scouts say ..."be prepared". :-D Now you have an excuse (reason) to buy a closed cooker.

Chef Country
11-07-2010, 10:26 AM
I just keep a water hose close and wet the ground aourn the cooker, or firebox on my big stick burner, if im using my stick burner i have to keep an eye on it anyway some im out their most of the time

11-07-2010, 10:38 AM
Two things to consider......

1- The wind jacking with your ability to maintain your temp

2- Being that guy who burned down half of Lawrence because a stray coal dropped out of the fire box or smouldering piece of newspaper blew into the bushes.

I agree with Larry and consider were you live and the surroundings.

I have cooked during such warnings before and have been extra careful with my fire starting and firebox.

11-07-2010, 11:07 AM
We aren't to far from ya here in Colorado. Our climate is so dry. Especially rite now. We have had no speakable moisture here along the front range in a long time. Its bone dry. I feel pretty safe with the Uds, but I also keep a pretty close eye on things. I guess the biggest thing is use your best judgement. Bad things can happen sooo fast. I did actually move my drum to our concrete padio on the back of the house just to keep it more contained. I have a little slab that I normally keep the drum on, but there is to much fuel around it and it just made me feel more comfortable having it more surrounded by concrete.

11-07-2010, 11:34 AM
Yeah - on one hand, it has been drier around here than it is now - but there is A LOT of tender on the ground to get things going.

I think I'm gonna play it safe and not cook. It's not like I don't have anything else to eat - thanks folks for all the comments and thoughts -

Crazy Harry
11-07-2010, 11:48 AM
sounds like a bad deal. do your lawn mowers and chain saws have spark arresters on them?

11-07-2010, 11:51 AM
I worry more about cooking during flood warnings.

11-07-2010, 11:52 AM
I believe that as long as the fire is contained inside a cooking aparatus such as a grill or smoker, you're fine. Like said before. Just have a water supply such as a charged garden hose available, and don't leave it unnattended.

Here in Maine where I live, as long as it isn't an open flame fire, the warning and restriction does not apply.

11-07-2010, 12:12 PM
We get burn bans in Texas every year. A Texas burn ban means no flame that can not be turned off, such as with a gas grill. No wood fires. No charcoal fires. I live in the burbs, so the wildfire potential is very slim, however, I am still reluctant to Q when it is dry and windy.

It's a risk versus benefit thing.

Benefit: Smokey meats.

Risk: Starting a wildfire is a felony. Then there are the lawsuits, followed by bankruptcy and homelessness.

Food for thought.


11-07-2010, 12:12 PM
When at the farm with situations just like this, I practice stuff that had been pre cooked and vac sacked. Try Keri Beans with thawed pulled pork! Or maybe Ash-Holes....


Smoked Chix potpie!



French Onion Soup!


Bacon Taters with Premade BBQ!


11-07-2010, 01:18 PM
When at the farm with situations just like this, I practice stuff that had been pre cooked and vac sacked. Try Keri Beans with thawed pulled pork! Or maybe Ash-Holes....

Smoked Chix potpie!

French Onion Soup!

Bacon Taters with Premade BBQ!


Yeah - I do need to make some space in the freezer . . .

11-07-2010, 01:39 PM
The wind has been kicking up really fierce, at least it was a couple hours ago, fierce enough that one little spark could light something while i'm not looking. I'm not cooking anything today because of the dry grass and dry leaves blowing all around. Just too risky if one leaf catches a little flame. it would be blown 3 houses away before anyone would see the flames.

11-07-2010, 02:53 PM
When we get fire warnings here, there is some teeth in the law. I would not want to get caught with any live fire in my yard during a 'non-burn' warning. At best, I get a fine, at worst, I burn down the neighborhood. There are always other ways to burn meat.

11-07-2010, 04:25 PM
if I live in Ca I would pay attention to them , but here in KY nah

11-07-2010, 06:45 PM
This is why I buy liquid smoke .. :shock:

to put out fires I start :tongue: because it is NOT touching any d@mn meat I have lol

Seriously though, I am NOT one to be considered cautious BUT I wouldn't fire up a smoker in those conditions.

11-07-2010, 08:25 PM
The planet is safe for today.

My wife asked how the ribs were doing as she left for work and I told her that I had decided to NOT cook the ribs - and that they were in the freezer for now.

Many thanks to everyone who chimed in with good thoughts and suggestions . . .