Forecast of high winds, 5% humidity prompts midweek red flag warning for Southern Utah

Stock image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — High winds and low relative humidity are expected to create critical fire conditions in Southern Utah during the middle of the week.

Shaded areas denote portions of Utah affected by a red flag warning | Image courtesy of the National Weather Service, St. George News

The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City has issued a red flag warning in effect from noon Tuesday to 9 p.m. MDT Wednesday.

The warning is in effect for large portions of Washington, Iron, Beaver and Kane counties, affecting the Color Country West Desert, Mojave Desert and Grand Staircase.

Southwest winds of 15-25 mph with gusts of up to 40 mph will combine with relative humidity as low as 5%. According to the National Weather Service, any fires that develop will have the potential for rapid growth. Outdoor burning is not recommended.

Precautions and preparedness

If you are traveling or planning to recreate using ATVs or similar vehicles, take the following precautions to avoid starting a wildfire:

  • Avoid driving or parking your vehicle in tall grass.
  • Never throw a lighted cigarette out of a vehicle.
  • When pulling a trailer, attach safety chains securely; loose chains can drag on the pavement and cause sparks, igniting roadside fires.
  • Look behind you before driving away from fire-sensitive locations such as areas with tall grass or campsites to check for signs of a developing fire.
  • Always use a spark arrester on internal combustion engines.

Read more: ‘If it can spark, it can cause a fire’: Tips on preventing human-caused wildfires

For the most current conditions, warnings and advisories, go to the National Weather Service-Salt Lake City office website. Additional information on driving conditions can be found at the UDOT website, as well as UDOT’s Commuterlink for current road and weather conditions, or dial 511.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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