Red flag warning for Washington County forecasts high winds and low humidity

Wind sock | Source photo by MWCPhoto/iStock/Getty Images Plus; St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City has issued a red flag warning for wind and low relative humidity in effect in parts of Washington County from noon to 8 p.m. MDT Monday.

Affected area

Shaded areas denote region subject to red flag warning. Map generated 5:34 p.m. MDT, Aug. 13, 2017 | Image courtesy National Weather Service, St. George News | Click on image to enlarge

The warning area covers fire weather zone 497, which includes most of the southern half of Washington County.

Fire conditions

Southwest winds 15 to 25 mph with gusts 30 to 35 mph combined with relative humidity falling to between 10 and 15 percent in the afternoon through early evening will create critical fire weather conditions, which will accelerate the spread of any new or existing fires.

Precautions and preparedness

Critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or are imminent. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.

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.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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