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Flagstaff, AZ; The eminent threat of catastrophic wild land fires in Northern Arizona is on the minds of all Coconino County residents. Recent wildfires in our communities have demonstrated that the threat of wild fires is very real. With this in mind Sherif Bill Pribil has directed his staff to display a red flag at the entrance to the parking lot of the Law Enforcement Administration Facility (911 E. Sawmill Road) on days when Red Flag Warnings are in effect. The flying of this red flag is an adoption of the nationwide Red Flag Warnings that are issued by the National Weather Service and meant to inform the public about the fire conditions.
Statistics show that many wild fires are unintentionally started by people who are carelessly using campfires, smoking cigarettes, operating combustible engines or otherwise engaging in reckless or careless behavior that may result in a forest fire. Sheriff Pribil believes that the Red Flag Warning system is a constant reminder of the threat of wildfires and may help prevent behavior that may result in a forest fire. The Sheriff’s Office issues a challenge to other Northern Arizona government agencies and local businesses to increase community awareness of the threat of wild fires by posting a red flag on their property where it is most visible to passing community members.
Red Flag Warnings are issued by the National Weather Service to indicate the imminent danger of Critical Fire Weather conditions - very low relative humidity, strong winds, and dry fuels. All three components must be in place for Red Flag conditions to exist. In Northern Arizona, our Red Flag Warning criteria are as follows: Relative humidity < 15%; sustained winds >20 mph (or gusts in excess of 35 mph); and high fire danger in the forests.
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Media and Public Contact: Gerry Blair, Coconino County Sheriff's Office, 928-226-5089