ST. GEORGE — While parts of Southern Utah experienced a brief respite from the heat thanks to a passing storm Friday and Saturday, temperatures are expected to rise again Sunday, bringing critical fire weather to the region and bordering states.
The passing storm may still produce some moisture in Utah’s southeastern region through Saturday, according to the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City, which warned of the continued possibility of flash flooding.
However, come Sunday, dry, windy conditions will return to the state, especially in southwest Utah, northern Arizona and southern Nevada, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a red flag warning for the region in effect from Sunday morning through the evening.
Affected areas include the majority of Washington, Iron, Kane and Beaver counties and portions of San Juan, Garfield and Wayne counties.
This includes areas of Manti National Forest, Grand Staircase, Color Country West Desert and Mojave Desert.
Regionally affected communities along Interstate 15 include Beaver Dam and Littlefield in Arizona.
Several communities and points of interest in the Arizona Strip and along state Route 389 are also affected, including Colorado City and surrounding communities.
Areas in Nevada affected by the red flag warning include communities along I-15 in Clark County, including Mesquite and the Las Vegas metropolitan area. Major recreation areas, such as Lake Mead and Valley of Fire State Park, are also affected.
Sustained south to southwest winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts of 35 to 40 mph will combine with 5 to 15 percent humidity to create critical fire weather.
A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior. Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly.
Outdoor burning is not recommended. Heed all fire restrictions.
Updated June 17, 8:15 a.m. to include red flag warning for Southern Utah.
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