The Hudson Valley is experiencing extremely dangerous conditions this week, and residents are being put on alert.

You may have heard Red Flag Warnings being broadcast on the radio and thought that it didn't affect you, but nothing could be further from the truth. The Hudson Valley is in a very vulnerable position right now, and careless actions could cause serious devastation and loss of life and property.

Due to windy, dry conditions on Tuesday, Dutchess, Orange, Ulster and counties up through Albany are all under a Red Flag Warning, which means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will happen soon. The Hudson Valley is experiencing a dangerous combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures. It's the perfect recipe for extreme fire conditions that can quickly spiral out of control.

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Just this weekend the Department of Environmental Conservation reported a fire near Stagecoach Road in Patterson. It's unclear what triggered the blaze, but it claimed three acres of land by feeding on dried leaves and tree debris before it could finally be put under control by rangers.

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The region has been under a burn ban which remains in effect until May 14. The ban, which started on March 16, essentially outlaws open fires such as campfires, bonfires and burn barrels. No permits are given out for fires throughout the state during this time.

Residents are being asked to use extra caution this week when using firepits and grills, as small sparks could set off the dry vegetation that hasn't had a chance to grow green leaves containing moisture.

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