Dry Conditions Spur Red Flag Fire Warnings

Jun 26, 2014

Current weather conditions resulted in red flag fire warnings for much of eastern and southern Utah Thursday.

County map of red flag areas.
Many Utah counties experience red flag fire warnings during the early summer; this was true Thursday.
Credit http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/slc/

Travis Booth, a forecaster at the Grand Junction Office of the National Weather Service, spoke with UPR about the conditions that make the weather ripe for potential blazes.  

“A red flag warning just means there is a combination of gusty winds, low relative humidity and critically-dry fuel conditions that could lead to fire starts and difficulty controlling wildfires,” said Booth. 

Booth said the warnings are mainly used by land managers as guidance to plan field operations, but said they also notify the public that fire activities such a private burns could be dangerous.

Booth said these warnings are not uncommon in the spring and early summer, but said the danger typically decreases later in the year.

“Once we get the monsoon season going with the daily thunderstorms, we tend to not need to issue red flag warnings,” said Booth. “In the fall we occasionally issue them once again.”

The warnings are in effect until 9:00 p.m. Thursday in parts of San Juan, Grand, Uintah, Kane, Garfield, Washington, Iron, Beaver, Carbon, and Daggett counties. For more information on the warnings, visit the National Weather Service website