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red flag warning Uinta Basin
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First red flag warning of 2021 issued for Uinta Basin

FILE: Neola (Uinta Basin) fire, August 27, 2005. (Craig Ashby, Uinta Basin Standard via Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City branch of the National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a red flag warning for the Uinta Basin, the first such warning for 2021 the agency said.

A red flag warning means that conditions like temperature, humidity, and wind are expected to combine and could pose an increased risk of fire danger. 

The NWS says these conditions now exist and could combine for an early start to the fire season in southwest Utah, the Uinta Basin, as well as the Henry Mountains.

The agency says these conditions could remain in eastern Utah until Tuesday.

But a cold front is expected to move through the state beginning late Monday into Tuesday. It could bring light snow to the northern Utah mountains and will return temperatures back to more seasonal expectations.

A red flag warning also directs residents to proceed with extreme caution if they are allowed to burn (in burn barrels) in their area. 

Cigarettes should be extinguished inside a vehicle instead of being tossed outside the window.  Throwing them out of a window could ignite dry grass and start a wildfire.

And all outdoor fires must be extinguished properly, by drowning fire with plenty of water and stirring the ashes to assure everything is cold to the touch.