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High fire danger in much of central Washington on Thursday

Critical fire weather conditions are forecast for Thursday afternoon in central Washington. Any new or existing fires could spread quickly.

A Red Flag Warning is in effect for much of central Washington on Thursday.

The affected areas include the Northern Columbia Basin and Central Cascade Valleys, according to the National Weather Service.

A Red Flag Warning means critical fire weather conditions are occurring now or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, or low relative humidity, and warm temperatures contribute to extreme fire behavior.

Any new or existing fires could spread quickly. 

In this case, the Red Flag Warning remains in effect from 2 to 8 p.m. on Thursday for gusty winds and dry conditions.

A moderate level of heat risk is also in the forecast today for areas of central Washington, Spokane and North Idaho on Thursday. Those who are more sensitive to heat should be sure to stay cool and hydrated.

Moses Lake is expecting a high of 97 degrees on Thursday, while Grand Coulee is expecting 96 degrees.

Tap here for local weather forecast

Average afternoon highs are usually in the low to mid 70s, bringing these forecasts above average by 10 to 20 degrees. If recorded, some of these 90-degree temperatures will break the daily record for that city.

Credit: KREM

The National Weather Service suggests drinking more water and dressing for the heat, limiting midday outdoor activities and staying in the shade if possible.

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