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Red Flag Warnings issued for Central Washington Saturday

Hot, dry, and windy conditions Saturday across central Washington leads to critical fire danger.

SPOKANE, Wash. — It'll be plenty hot Saturday for the Inland Northwest. In Central Washington, the very dry and windy conditions will prompt a critical fire danger for the region.

A Red Flag Warning has been issued for all of Central Washington during the day on Saturday, noon to 10 P.M. This is the entirety of the Columbia Basin extending into the eastern slopes of the Cascades up to the Okanogan Valley.

A Red Flag Warning represents weather conditions that are conducive to rapid wildfire growth. Those factors include extremely low relative humidity and windy conditions. For Saturday, the forecast calls for relative humidity between 10-25% and wind gusts 30 to 40 mph.

Note that a Red Flag Warning doesn't mean there will be a wildfire, just that if there is, it can spread out of control quickly.

Anyone living in these areas should avoid any outdoor burning. That means no campfires, no fireworks, no agricultural burning, etc. Sparks and hot stop can ignite fires in grassy areas and the winds would then fan the flames.

Credit: US Drought Monitor
Washington state drought monitor as of July 7, 2020

Another factor at play is that drought conditions are moderate to severe in many areas in central Washington. The severe drought that covers 14% of the state includes nearly all of the eastern slopes of the Cascades and down into southern Washington.

Saturday will be one of the hottest days of the year so far for several area locations, Spokane included. In fact, Spokane will likely be hitting 90 degrees for the first time in 2020.

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