Red flag warnings, fire weather watch issued for most of Arizona

A red flag warning has been issued for most of Arizona on Friday due to dangerous fire weather.

According to meteorologist Isaac Smith with the National Weather Service in Phoenix, the dry conditions combined with strong gusts will promote critical fire weather conditions for “all of the northern terrain, and then across eastern and southeastern Arizona.”

The National Weather Service in Flagstaff issued a red flag warning for the region that went into effect Thursday and will last until 9 pm Another warning was issued for Friday from 10 am to 8 pm

Gusty winds and low humidity, especially in the Mogollon Rim, are expected. On Friday, temperatures will be cooler and humidity will be slightly higher, according to the NWS. However, winds with gusts around 35 and 45 mph are forecasted.

A fire weather watch will also be in effect for most of north and central Arizona including Coconino County, Yavapai County mountains, Gila County, Navajo County and Apache County on Friday from 11 am until 9 pm

According to Smith, these critical fire conditions will favor the spread of ongoing wildfires across the state. Currently, two major fires burning in Arizona, the Tunnel Fire in Coconino County and the Crooks Fire in Yavapai County, have yet to be fully contained. The cause of each is still being investigated.

Smith residents advised to follow fire-related bans and guidelines placed by local agencies to avoid starting any new fires.

During critical fire weather, NWS Phoenix recommends the following safety measures:

  • Avoid using a lawnmower on weeds or dry grass.
  • Dispose of cigarettes and matches properly.
  • Avoid using power equipment that creates sparks.
  • Avoid dragging vehicle parts on the ground, including towing chains.

“Make sure you’re being very careful outside, make sure you’re not starting any new wildfires going forward,” he advised.

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Reach breaking news reporter Angela Cordoba Perez at [email protected] or on Twitter @AngelaCordobaP.

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