A fourth straight day of "Red Flag" warnings covering most of Utah. A statewide ban on fireworks covering state and federal public lands, parks, and forests, and a slew of restrictions in place on holiday pyrotechnics issued by cities and counties.
Hint: Anywhere you are as the Fourth of July weekend approaches, you are just one careless spark, one errant bottle rocket or firecracker or sparkler away from a potential inferno.
Thursday's Red Flag warning, which covered nearly all of eastern, central and southern Utah, was in effect through 10 p.m. However, more such warnings are likely as ultra-dry conditions and erratic winds keep the danger for explosive fire growth high.
The National Weather Service stated that winds of 10-20 mph, gusting to near 40 mph, were expected. Considering the state's forests, high deserts and grasslands are bone-dry — relative humidity is as low as 5 percent in places — fire danger was deemed "critical," forecasters said.
The Wasatch Front will continue to see temperatures in the upper-80s on Friday, but Saturday's highs will soar into the mid-90s. Sunday, too, will see the mercury climb well into the 90s under sunny to partly cloudy skies.
The region's hot conditions are even more merciless the further south you travel. St. George and Utah's Dixie looked for 103 degrees on Friday, an encore of Thursday's sunny, breezy forecast. Sunday will see thermometers maintain that heat.
There's another reason you may want to stay indoors: the Utah Division of Air Quality predicts degraded breathing conditions statewide, with "yellow" or moderate particulate pollution levels in place. Only Cache County rated a "green," or healthy grade heading into the weekend.
The Intermountain Allergy & Asthma website noted that mold, grass and plantain registered "high" on its pollen index as of Thursday; other allergens were "low," or did not register.
For more extensive forecast information visit the Tribune's weather page at http://www.sltrib.com/news/weather/.