Weather Service says upcoming conditions ripe for ‘rapid spread of fires’

A human-caused wildfire burns in the LaVerkin Creek area of Washington County, Utah, Aug. 20, 2019 | File photo by Ron Chaffin, St. Goerge News

ST. GEORGE — The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City has issued both a red flag warning and fire weather watch for portions of central and Southern Utah.

Advisories in effect as of 9:27 a.m. Sept. 18, 2019 | Map courtesy of the National Weather Service- Salt Lake City office, St. George News | Click to enlarge

The red flag warning will go into effect starting at noon Wednesday, and the fire weather watch takes effect starting 10 a.m. Thursday. Both advisories are scheduled to expire Thursday at 10 p.m.

According to the National Weather Service, both advisories were issued in advance of strong winds and low humidity during the course of the next two days. The conditions may lead to “rapid spread of fires, especially during the afternoon and early evening.”

The affected areas are forecast to receive winds of 15-25 mph, with gusts up to 40 mph, and the relative humidity will drop down as low as 11%. While lightning isn’t expected in the area, officials are advising people to be conscientious of activities that could result in human-caused fires.

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

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

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