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Prolonged period of wind, critical fire weather expected across northern Arizona

red flag warning

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for the entirety of northern Arizona. Wind advisories and critical fire weather are expected to continue through at least Wednesday of next week.

A Wind Advisory is also in effect for today for all of northern Arizona except the lower deserts of Yavapai County and northern Gila County.

NWS says gusty winds, dry fuels, and low humidity will lead to high fire weather danger with easier fire starts and rapid spread of new or existing fires.

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.