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National Weather Service to issue Red Flag Warning Thursday for much of northern Arizona

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for Thursday in anticipation of strong winds and low relative humidity for northern Arizona.

Affected areas include Forest Lakes, Fredonia, Grand Canyon, Heber-Overgaard, Jacob Lake, Pinetop-Lakeside, Show Low, Tuba City, Valle, Whiteriver and Williams. This includes portions of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, Coconino National Forest, Kaibab National Forest, Prescott National Forest and Tonto National Forest.

Sustained winds of 15-25 mph are expected, along with 40 mph gusts.

Weather officials say the combination of gusty winds and low humidity create critical fire weather and can cause wildfire to rapidly grow in size and intensity before first responders can contain them.