ST. GEORGE — A red flag and excessive wind warning have been issued for parts of Southern Utah this week, according to the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City.
A red flag warning is in effect from 4 p.m. Monday to 9 p.m. Tuesday for wind and low relative humidity in Washington, Iron, Beaver, Kane and Garfield counties.
Humidity is expected to be as low as 6%. Northwest winds of 20-30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph are anticipated. A strong cold front will move through the area Monday evening into Monday night, increasing winds substantially, according to NWS.
Critical fire weather conditions are expected and any fires that start may spread rapidly.
An excessive heat and wind warning have also been issued for Washington County by NWS.
Dangerously hot conditions with temperatures of up to 109 degrees are expected in the area until 9 p.m. Monday night.
North winds of 20-30 mph with gusts in excess of 60 mph are expected from midnight Tuesday to noon Wednesday in Utah’s Dixie and Zion National Park.
Gusty winds could blow around objects that are left unsecured. Reduced visibility is also possible from blowing dust and ash from recent burn scars.
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.
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