UPDATED: Red flag conditions, risky fire weather forecast extends to Southern Nevada

High winds on dry earth | Photo by ddub3429 / iStock / Getty Images Plus, modified composite by St. George News

UPDATE Monday 6:52 a.m. – The National Weather Service has upgraded this advisory to a red flag alert, today calling the incoming system “a potent area of low pressure moving into the region … Tuesday.”  Sections of this report updated include “Timing,”  “Strong winds” and “Areas affected.”  There is no change to the map denoting affected areas.

SOUTHERN NEVADA – A trough of low pressure moving into Southern Nevada and the Colorado River Valley will bring gusty winds along with low relative humidities to parts of the area by Tuesday, leading to dangerous fire weather in the region.

Dotted areas denote region subject to fire weather watch for Tuesday, southern Nevada. Map generated Sept. 11, 2016 at 4:52 a.m. PDT | Image courtesy of National Weather Service, St. George News
Dotted areas denote region subject to fire weather watch for Tuesday, southern Nevada. Map generated Sept. 11, 2016 at 4:52 a.m. PDT | Image courtesy of National Weather Service, St. George News

This fire weather watch issued by the National Weather Service Sunday has been upgraded Monday to a red flag alert in effect Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. PDT. The original watch followed on the heels of a red flag alert forecasting critical fire weather conditions for the central Utah mountains and central Utah’s west desert regions, including parts of Washington County, in effect from noon Sunday until midnight Monday.


Read more: Critical fire weather incoming, precautions to take – Southern Utah


Timing

According to the service’s alerts, winds in the affected areas will increase through Tuesday, peak in the afternoon and begin decreasing at night. The red flag warning issued Monday is in effect through 11 p.m. PDT Tuesday.

Strong winds, low humidity

Southwest to south 20-25 mph winds are expected with gusts of 35-45 mph and 10-15 percent humidity are expected Tuesday, according to the service’s Monday forecast update.  The combination of strong winds with low humidity create conditions that can lead to fires that develop and spread rapidly. Extreme fire behavior may occur.

Areas affected

Areas specifically alerted for red flag warning in Monday’s alert include Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada; Colorado River on both the Arizona and Nevada side; Ely, Nevada; Nye, Clark and Lincoln county deserts in Nevada; Las Vegas, Sheep Range, Spring Mountains, Nevada.

Precautions

Outdoor burning is not  recommended.

The following fire safety tips, previously published by St. George News in 2013, were offered by Washington County Emergency Services for fire prevention:

  • Make sure you can legally burn in your area. Check with local authorities and obtain a permit
  • Check the weather before you light a fire.  High winds, high temperatures and low humidity radically intensify fire
  • Choose a safe burning site away from trees or bushes, buildings or other flammable fuels
  • Have means, like water or an extinguisher, to douse your fire quickly
  • Stay with your fire. Don’t leave it unattended
  • Don’t burn garbage, waste, construction debris, plastic, foam, rubber or other offensive substances
  • Don’t throw lighted material, including cigarettes, from vehicles
  • Use fireworks with caution, obey fireworks laws and don’t use illegal fireworks
  • Always extinguish the fire completely before you leave it
  • Never park on, or drive through, dry grass
  • Be careful with the use of heat or spark generating tools or ATVs
  • If you live in a wildland interface area, be prepared for wildfire
  • Provide for defensible space around your home and out buildings
  • Have a wildfire action plan for your family
  • Have your important documents and disaster kits ready to go in an emergency
  • Leave early if a fire threatens your neighborhood

Email: jkuzmanic@stgnews.com

Twitter: @JoyceKuzmanic  @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

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