ANNA MARIA ISLAND -- Flags have begun to pop up in Anna Maria Island this week -- but they're not ordinary.
Those living or visiting the island will see different colored flags as the result of the West Manatee Fire & Rescue District's new program for warning the public about beach conditions on the island.
In conjunction with National Beach Safety Week, Fire Station No. 1, 6001 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, and Fire Station No. 2, 10350 Cortez Road, Bradenton, will fly beach warning flags from 10:30 a.m. through dusk daily.
Updates on water conditions will be based on lifeguard station reports from Coquina and Manatee public beaches received twice a day. Firefighters will change flags to reflect the weather.
One red flag indicates a high hazard such as a high surf and/or strong currents.
One yellow flag indicates a medium hazard such as moderate surf and/or currents.
Each station will have a sign with information on flag color meanings.