A new fire has started every day in Utah since May 17. Warm, dry conditions mean more could spark soon

Tot dusver vanjaar, daar was 326 wildfires in Utah, 42 of which started in just the last week. Since May 17, at least one has ignited every single day, state officials said. En 90% of the fires have been human-caused, leading to over 12,000 acres burned.

Nou, increased winds will set the stage for the further spread of these fires. Above-normal fire potential is also predicted for June and July for the entire state as hot and dry conditions are expected to persist.
Critical fire weather conditions exist Thursday across more than half a dozen states, Arizona ingesluit, where two massive wildfires are growing. Also alarming is the extreme level fire weather conditionsthe highest categoryin eastern Utah and western Colorado.
    Depending on where you are, wind gusts today are on the border of 40 km / h, opwaarts van 60 mph possible,” said Kris Sanders, senior meteorologist at the National Weather Service (NWS) at Grand Junction. “A lot of the higher winds are going to be in the far northwest part of Colorado and the far northeast part of Utah, stretching down maybe towards the I-70 corridor.
      Along with that, it’s going to be very dry conditions. We’re already starting the day out with low humidity, and relative humidity is going to get into the single digits, which is not good,” Sanders gesê. “If you get a fire in this environment, it’s only going to grow rapidly.
        Widespread winds are expected in the 20- to 30-mph range, with relative humidity hovering in the range of 6% aan 12% range.
        These winds and relative humidities suggest that meteorological conditions will likely exceed extremely critical criteria,” the Storm Prediction Center cautioned. “Daarbenewens, fuels in the area are extremely dry.
          More than half a dozen Western states have at least one ongoing wildfire that has burned over 1,000 hektaar. En amper 27,000 fires have started across the US this year, burning more than 833,000 hektaar.
          The Telegraph Fire burned Tuesday as seen from Kellner Canyon Road, south of Globe, Arizona.

          California alone has seen nearly 3,000 fires this year, well above its average of 1,500 deur this time of the year.
          Twenty large fires are now burning across the US, with two of the largest ones still growing in Arizona.

          Arizona has 2 big fires

          Two massive wildfiresthe Telegraph Fire and the Mescal Fireare raging across Arizona, spurring Gov. Doug Ducey to make two emergency declarations Wednesday.
          Arizonans must take the threat of wildfires seriously and follow all safety precautions during these dry months, including following evacuation orders,” Ducey said in a statement.
          The extent of the burn area of the growing Telegraph and Mescal wildfires in Arizona can be seen on NASA satellites. This image uses what is called "false color,&kwotasie; a combination of wavelengths different from what the human eye can see. It is most useful for distinguishing burn scars (in red) from naturally low vegetation (in green). The two fires combined have almost burned at least 155,000 hektaar, an area nearly half the size of Phoenix, which is seen in this image just west of the fires.

          Both fires are just east of Phoenix, and the forecast for this region does not bode well for firefighters or residents.
          Out by the fires today, we’re looking at temperatures in the mid- to upper 90s,” said Sean Benedict, meteorologist with the NWS office in Phoenix. “With this time of year with the very low humidity, we’re looking at afternoon relative humidity percentages below 10%.
          That together has been fueling the elevated fire weather conditions we’ve been seeing, and also we typically will see these breezy conditions each afternoon.
          Sustained winds between 10 en 20 km / h, with gusts up around 30 aan 35 km / h, are possible. These may not sound like very strong winds, maar onthou: It doesn’t take much wind to spread an ongoing fire.
          The one thing that will be changing as we head into the weekend and even into early next week is the temperatures will really start to push up,” Benedict said. “That’s going to lead to even lower relative humidity. We’re looking at temperatures reaching near records by the middle of next week.
          The most important aspect of the forecast is there’s no rain in sight. Over the next seven days, no rain is forecast for most of Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Kalifornië, New Mexico and Utah.

          Drought is driving the fires

          One hundred percent of Utah, Nevada, Oregon, and California is under at least a level 1 drought conditions or worse, but only one of those states — Oregon — is expected to see rain over the next few days. All others are expected to remain very dry.
            This is especially concerning since the soil moisture and fuel moisture levels are already very low. This means under the right conditions, fire ignition can start very easily.

            For todayeven across the western areas, while the winds aren’t terribly strongwith the warmer temperatures and dry fuel, we do have red flag in effect,” said Sharon Sullivan, meteorologist at the NWS in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “We will see temperatures on the upward trend, drier fuel and dry conditions overall with the single digit relative humidities.

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