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Red Flag Warning issued for Monday, June 16 in Arizona



The National Weather Service has issued the Red Flag Warning as they expect there to be high winds and low humidity that could spark wildfires

MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz. — The National Weather Service in Phoenix has issued a Red Flag Warning for the high terrain east of the Valley on Monday, June 17 as hot, dry weather, high winds and low humidity could lead to favorable conditions for wildfires.  

The 12News Weather team has forecast the hot and dry conditions that hit the Valley throughout the weekend would lead to a windier day on Monday.  

The areas affected by the Red Flag Warning include locations near Buffalo Pass, Chinle, Dilkon, Doney Park, Eagar-Springerville, Flagstaff, Forest Lakes, Fredonia, Ganado, Grand Canyon, Heber-Overgaard, Holbrook, Jacob Lake, Kayenta, Kykotsmovi, North Rim, Page, Saint Johns, Shonto, Snowflake-Taylor, Tuba City, Valle, Williams, Window Rock and Winslow. 

This also includes portions of the Apache- Sitgreaves National Forest, Coconino National Forest, Kaibab National Forest, Prescott National Forest and Tonto National Forest. 

More information can be found here.

As a result, the team is calling for a Weather Impact Alert Day on Monday with the goal to make sure everyone is prepared and has a plan to deal with the hot and windy weather. 

WHEN: 

The Red Flag Warning will be in effect from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday. 

IMPACT ON YOUR LIFE:  

If a wildfire begins, the National Weather Service says it will likely spread rapidly and exhibit extreme behavior, which could put homes and other structures in danger and lead to road closures.  

The NWS stresses that any outdoor activities can cause a spark that could lead to a wild fire, including yard work, target shooting or campfires.  

The Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management has also implemented Stage 1 Fire Restrictions for all state lands. 

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions include:

  • Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove other than in a developed campsite or picnic area is prohibited. Exemptions include persons using a device solely fueled by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off.
  • Smoking is prohibited unless: it is within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site/improved site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
  • The discharging or using of any kind of fireworks and incendiary devices is prohibited.
  • Welding or operating acetylene or other torch device with an open flame is prohibited. 

RELATED: Arizona wildfire map: What’s burning in the Grand Canyon State

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO PREPARE: 

If you live in or will be visiting an area that is covered by the Red Flag Warning, be sure to have a go-kit ready.  

An emergency supply kit should be put together long before a wildfire or another disaster occurs. Make sure to keep it easily accessible so you can take it with you when you have to evacuate. 

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that residents near a disaster store emergency supplies in a plastic tub, small suitcase, trash can, backpack, or other containers. 

Residents should make sure they have the necessities, such as three gallons of water per person and a three-day supply of ready-to-eat food, the NFPA said. A first-aid kit, prescription medications, contact lenses, and non-prescription drugs should also be taken into account.  

Copies of any important family documents, including insurance policies, identification, bank account records, and emergency contact numbers should also be taken and put into a waterproof, portable container in your kit, the NFPA said.  

The association lists other items that would help in a disaster, including: 

  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person 

  • Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio and a NOAA weather radio to receive up-to-date information 

  • Dust mask or cotton T-shirt to filter the air 

  • Matches in a waterproof container 

  • Complete change of clothing including long pants, long sleeve shirts, and sturdy shoes stored in a waterproof container 

  • Signal flare 

The entire NFPA checklist of supplies can be found here.  

More preparedness tips can be found at livingwithfire.info

How to prevent wildfires 

With temperatures beginning to heat up, fires are likely to continue, but there are some ways that you can prevent them from starting. 

According to the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, some ways to prevent a wildfire from sparking include: 

  • Make sure a campfire is out by dousing it with water, stirring it and repeating until it is cool to the touch when you touch it with the back of your hand 
  • Refrain from using a chainsaw or welding equipment during windy or high fire danger days 
  • Use proper burn barrels when burning debris, never leave the fire unattended and make sure it is completely out before walking away. Also never burn on windy days. 
  • Don’t target shoot or use fireworks on state lands, as that is not allowed. 

Drivers can also help prevent wildfires with these tips: 

  • Do not throw cigarette butts out of a car window 
  • Check your tire pressure, as under-inflated tires can cause your wheel to touch a road or trail and cause sparks 
  • Never park or drive on dry grass or brush, as a hot engine can spark a fire 
  • Tighten trailer chains and other equipment so they don’t drag on the ground and cause sparks 
  • Check your brake pads because worn pads can also throw sparks due to metal-on-metal contact   

The ADFFM also has a mobile app that will alert users when a wildfire is in their area. The app can be downloaded in the Apple App Store or in the Google Play Store

And there are some ways to keep your home safe in case of wildfires, according to The National Fire Protection Agency. Those include: 

  • Make sure your roof and gutters are clear of dead leaves and debris that could catch fire 
  • Replace or repair any loose or missing shingles to prevent embers from getting inside your home 
  • Install 1/8 inch metal mesh screening to reduce embers that could pass through vents into eaves 
  • Clean debris from attic vents and install the 1/8 inch metal mesh on those vents as well 
  • Repair or replace damaged or loose window screens and any broken windows 
  • Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and other flammable materials from getting in 
  • Move any flammable materials away from exterior walls, including mulch, plants, leaves and firewood piles 
  • Remove anything stored underneath decks or porches 

The NFPA also advises keeping lawns and native grasses mowed to a height of four inches or less, keeping at least eight feet of space between trees, along with having fire-resistant construction on your home, including fire-resistant roofing and siding. 

The NFPA also says to know and practice an emergency action plan with all of the occupants of your home in case of a wildfire, as that can save lives.    

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