Independence Day will be celebrated under a red flag warning, which will be in effect across much of western Utah throughout the holiday weekend, according to the National Weather Service.
A combination of strong southerly winds, reaching speeds up to 45 mph on Sunday and Monday, and a relative humidity of between 8% and 12% will create critical fire conditions from Utah’s northern border to its southern tip and extending as far east as Provo.
That combination could make new and existing fires spread rapidly. State officials have recommended that residents forgo setting off personal fireworks this year, to lessen the risk of starting a new blaze.
The Left Fork Fire, which has burned more than 4,200 acres about 10 miles west of Bryce Canyon National Park, continued to burn on Friday, though it is now 93% contained.
The red flag warning will go into effect Saturday at noon, and remain in place until 9 p.m. Monday.
In Salt Lake City, the long weekend is predicted to be sunny, if potentially windy. Temperatures on Saturday and Sunday are expected to reach highs in the mid-90s, and the Fourth of July is forecast to have a high near 91 degrees and a low near 67. Winds ranging from 10-15 mph will pick up Saturday afternoon, and Sunday could see gusts reaching up to 32 mph.
St. George will be hot and sunny all weekend, too, with highs in the upper-90s and 100s, and lows around 70 degrees each day. Sunday is expected to be gusty, with forecasted winds up to 31 mph.
Flash flooding is also possible Friday in Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Capitol Reef National Park and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. No flooding is expected Saturday.