The National Weather Service (NWS) in Flagstaff has issued a red flag warning for critical fire danger in Coconino County, effective Thursday Sept. 19 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
According to the NWS, the warning was announced due to low relative humidity and strong winds. These conditions, especially when combined, are highly conducive to the spread of wildfire.
The warning states that locations near the Grand Canyon and Valle, Arizona, along with portions of the Kaibab National Forest, are at the greatest risk. Over the next day, the NWS forecasts winds from 20 to 30 mph, including occasional gusts up to 45 mph. Relative humidity could be as low as 11%.
Additionally, the weather service recommends using various safety measures during this dangerous fire period. One such precaution would be to correctly dispose of all cigarettes and matches and not throw them out of moving vehicles. The NWS also said the public must comply with all burn bans.
The red flag warning is in effect while the Whiskey Fire continues to burn in the southwest. The Whiskey Fire is naturally occurring, which means that it was caused by the uncontrollable environmental factors that characterize fire season.
Based on weather forecasts for Thursday Sept. 19, these factors will be even more dangerous.