Low humidity, high winds to create critical fire conditions in Zion National Park, Lake Powell

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

ST. GEORGE — High winds and low relative humidity will combine to create critical fire conditions Sunday in parts of Southern Utah, including Zion National Park and Lake Powell.

The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City has issued a red flag warning advising against outdoor burning in effect from noon to 8 p.m. MDT Sunday.

Affected area

Shaded areas denote region subject to red flag warning. Map generated 3:15 p.m. MDT, Oct. 7, 2017 | Image courtesy National Weather Service, St. George News | Click image to enlarge

Areas affected fall in the Grand Staircase fire zone, which encompasses eastern Washington County, Kane County and extends north and east into areas surrounding Lake Powell.

Winds and humidity

Southwest winds of 15-25 mph with gusts of up to 35 mph will combine with a minimum relative humidity of 10-14 percent.


Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly. Outdoor burning is not recommended.

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.

Washington County Emergency Services safety tips 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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Twitter: @STGnews

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

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