Just about anywhere you go right now, someone is burning brush, leaves, twigs, and branches in their yard. Our properties took a beating over the winter, so now's the time to clean up. But the National Weather Service says today may not be the best day for it, as it's issued a Red Flag Warning.

I love the smell of outdoor burning and, over the weekend, I was smelling it every time I turned a corner in Orrington. Everyone is working on restoring their properties after heavy snow and ice took a toll. But, also in Orrington over the weekend, firefighters battled a small brush fire.

Today, the National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for Piscataquis, Penobscot, Aroostook, Hancock, and Washington counties. What that means is that the low relative humidity, gusty southwest winds, and continued dry conditions will combine to push the fire danger to high. The warning is in effect from noon til 8 o'clock tonight.

So, if you're thinking about doing some burning, you should probably wait until the fire danger improves, to avoid the fire accidentally getting out of control. For more information on fire conditions in your area, contact your local fire department.

Remember, you must have a permit to do any outdoor burning. Burn permits can be purchased from your local fire department. Or you can log onto the Maine Forest Service burn permit website and buy it online.