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Weather working against efforts to fight Brian Head fire

SALT LAKE CITY – The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for several portions of the state, including the area surrounding the Brian Head fire, which has already charred roughly 50 thousand acres.  It’s in effect until 10 p.m. Wednesday, when the winds are expected to slow down.

“The expectation, down there, is that we’re going to have 15-25 mile per hour winds, with gusts as high as 35.  Also, [we’re expecting] critically low relative humidity, down to five to ten percent, which is a real problem,” according to National Weather Service Meteorologist in Charge, Randy Graham.

However, even when the winds slow down, Graham says humidity will be extremely low.  Plus, there is no precipitation in the forecast that could help fire fighters knock the blaze down.  So, the fire can still spread, just not as quickly.  Graham says, “When the winds drop off, that certainly helps, but, when you have a fire as big as the Brian Head fire, it has a tendency to start creating its own weather, in a sense because it’s such a massive area of heat.”

This changing weather has fire fighters working hard to find the best way to tackle the blaze, depending on where they are.  Brian Head Fire Public Information Officer Elayn Briggs “It’s not the same for every inch of the fire… every 49 thousand acres of the fire.”

She adds that the fire did spread over the norther perimeter, but it didn’t get any closer to homes or structures.

(Photo Credit: Stuart Johnson, Deseret News)