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Potentially dangerous wildfire day shaping up for parts of Utah
First Published Jun 18 2013 06:50 am • Last Updated Jun 18 2013 07:36 am

Tuesday was shaping up to be a potentially dangerous day for wildfires.

The southern and eastern halves of Utah were under a red flag warning that starts at noon Tuesday and runs until 10 p.m. Thursday.

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The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City said sustained winds of up to 25 mph, gusting to 35 mph, were expected to sweep through those parts of the state through Wednesday.

The relative humidity is expected to drop as low as 7 percent.

Combined, the high winds and low humidity will make for extremely dangerous fire conditions.

A wind advisory starting at noon was also issued for parts of west central and southwest Utah due to expected sustained winds of up to 35 mph, with gusts up to 55 mph.

Those gusty winds could cause areas of blowing dust, which could cut driving visibilities below a mile at times around in the advisory region that includes the cities of Delta, Fillmore, Beaver, Cedar City and Milford.

With worsening fire conditions expected, fire restrictions were implemented in southwest Utah on all unincorporated lands in Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane and Washington counties.

Starting Thursday, people may not:

— use open fire of any kind, except campfires and charcoal fires within approved fire pits and grills.

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— Smoke except in an enclosed vehicle or building.

— Cut, weld or grind metal in areas of dry vegetation.

— Use exploding targets that are detonated when struck by a projectile such as a bullet.

— Discharge any fireworks, tracer ammunition or other pyrotechnic devices.

Park officials in the regions under the red flag warning were also asking people to be extremely careful when using fire outdoors, and if possible, to avoid campfires — at least until conditions improve on Friday.

Fire crews have already spent nearly a week battling three wildfires in eastern Utah that were started by lightning strikes.

Air quality in Utah wasn’t expected to be great either on Tuesday.

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality tagged Tuesday as a "yellow" air quality day.


Twitter @sltribjanelle

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