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Dangerous fire weather expected across western U.S. for days to come, Red Flag warnings in effect for northern Arizona

red flag warning

A storm system will set up over the western U.S. this weekend into next week, creating critical fire weather for the Southwest.

Windy, dry conditions are expected across northern Arizona Saturday through at least Tuesday, possibly Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. Dangerous fire weather is expected to last for several days making any new fires difficult to control.

A Red Flag Warning is in effect for Saturday through Sunday with additional watches or warnings possible next week.

Strong winds may produce difficult driving conditions for high profile vehicles in particular, as well as reduced visibility from blowing dust and sand over northeast Arizona.

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions are in place for the Coconino, Kaibab, Prescott, Tonto and Apache-Sitgreaves national forests, as well as the Williams, Sedona and Tusayan Ranger Districts.

Stage 1 restrictions prohibit fires of any kind outside designated areas. This includes charcoal and briquette fires. Smoking is prohibited except within enclosed vehicles, buildings or developed recreation sites and must be done in areas where flammable material has been cleared. Discharging firearms, except while engaged in a lawful hunt, is also prohibited.

Officials with the Forest Service say fire restrictions will remain in place until there is significant moisture to lessen wildfire danger.

Cooler temperatures should set in for a few days beginning on Sunday, but no precipitation is in the foreseeable forecast.