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criticalfireweathertoday0517

Gusty southwest winds and low relative humidity are expected to cause critical fire weather conditions across portions of north-central Arizona, including the Flagstaff area, on Thursday.

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today. Wind gusts are expected to reach 37 mph with relative humidity forecast at 10 percent. 

Given the dry conditions, the North Kaibab Ranger District will implement Stage 1 campfire and smoking restrictions beginning Friday. The district encompasses areas north of Grand Canyon National Park on the Kaibab Plateau.

Under the restrictions, fires, campfires, charcoal, coal and wood stoves are prohibited, except within the following developed recreation sites:

  • Big Springs Rental Cabins
  • Jacob Lake Campground
  • Jacob Lake Group Campground & Picnic Site
  • DeMotte Campground

The Stage 1 restrictions also limit smoking to within enclosed vehicles or buildings or in the listed developed recreation sites.

Using a device that is solely fueled by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off is allowed in areas that are barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within 3 feet of the device. Fireworks are always prohibited on all National Forest lands.

All of the Coconino National Forest and the southern parts of the Kaibab National Forest are already in Stage 2 restrictions, which prohibit all campfires and smoking, even in developed campgrounds. Also prohibited is target shooting and off-road travel by motorized vehicles, even on designated trails, except in the Cinder Hills. 

Following is the detailed National Weather Service forecast for Flagstaff through Wednesday:

Today

Sunny, with a high near 71. Breezy, with a southwest wind 8 to 13 mph increasing to 21 to 26 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 37 mph.

Tonight

Clear, with a low around 38. Southwest wind 10 to 15 mph becoming light west southwest after midnight.

Friday

Sunny, with a high near 69. Light southwest wind increasing to 9 to 14 mph in the morning. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph.

Friday Night

Mostly clear, with a low around 38. West southwest wind 5 to 8 mph becoming calm in the evening.

Saturday

Mostly sunny, with a high near 70. Light southwest wind increasing to 5 to 10 mph in the morning.

Saturday Night

Partly cloudy, with a low around 38.

Sunday

Sunny, with a high near 73.

Sunday Night

Mostly clear, with a low around 36.

Monday

Sunny, with a high near 73.

Monday Night

Mostly clear, with a low around 38.

Tuesday

Sunny, with a high near 71.

Tuesday Night

Mostly clear, with a low around 37.

Wednesday

Sunny, with a high near 71.

 

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Environment, Health and Science Reporter

Emery Cowan writes about science, health and the environment for the Arizona Daily Sun, covering everything from forest restoration to endangered species recovery efforts.

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