A dangerous combination of an extraordinarily warm and extraordinarily dry first quarter of 2012 has made much of the eastern U.S. a veritable tinderbox, setting the stage for wildfires like those that have bedeviled firefighters from New York to Florida in recent days. "Those two factors, and recent wind, is a perfect recipe for fire," Weather Channel meteorologist Mike Seidel told NBC News. Added to those ingredients are plentiful plants. "We haven't seen many rainstorms nor snowstorms and all the vegetation that grew up rapidly from last winter's rainfall is just all dry and ready to burn," another meteorologist said. After brush fires destroyed homes and businesses on New York's Long Island on Tuesday, several states in the Southeast — as well as some out west — faced red flag warnings for fires Wednesday, too.