The National Weather Service sent the Tuesday alert for several Northeast Ohio counties, including: Ashtabula; Cuyahoga; Erie; Geauga; Huron; Lake; Lorain; Mahoning; Medina; Portage; Stark; Summit; and Trumbull, among others.
Dry and windy conditions are creating an elevated fire risk across Northern Ohio on Tuesday afternoon. Humidity is expected to range from 15% to 25% while wind gusts could get as high as 30 mph, with the highest gusts expected near the lakeshore, according to the service.
“Residents are urged to exercise caution if handling any potential ignition sources, such as machinery, cigarettes or matches,” reads the alert. “If dry grasses and tree litter begin to burn, the fire will have the potential to spread rapidly.”
Firefighters in Chardon, one of the cities included in the fire alert, worked Tuesday to contain a wildfire along Pearl Road in Hambden Township. Just before noon Tuesday, the department reported an “out of control” wildfire in the woods about 200 yards from a building.
Calls for mutual aid were later canceled after the fire was brought under control, the department tweeted moments later.
Wind gusts reportedly fueled a February fire that destroyed a Willoughby apartment building that was still under construction, melted nearby buildings and damaged or destroyed more than 20 cars in a nearby lot.
“The fire was coming across the street, you can see the smoke in the background,” Willoughby Fire Chief Todd Ungar told FOX 8 News. “It was drifting across the street. It’s high winds, it’s a wind-driven fire. The entire street was fire.”