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Risk of wildfire ignition to increase in southwestern US during Easter weekend

AccuWeather logo AccuWeather 4/19/2019 alex.sosnowski
a close up of a map: Southwest Fire Risk © Provided by Accuweather, Inc Southwest Fire Risk

People in part of the southwestern United States will need to take precautions during the Easter weekend due an elevated risk of wildfire ignition and rapid spread.

While much of the nation has been receiving rain on a regular basis, there are some pockets throughout where winter and early spring storms have been lean with rain and snow. In addition, the combination of dry brush in the spring is coinciding with surging temperatures and locally gusty winds.

"One such area will focus on portions of New Mexico, Arizona and western Texas this weekend," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Courtney Travis.

"Temperatures in this swath of the Southwest will climb well into the 80s to the lower 90s Fahrenheit," Travis said.

"At the same time, the air and dead brush from the winter will be rather dry."

As winds kick up and average 10-20 mph with higher gusts, any spark or burning ember from cigarettes can quickly evolve into a small grass or brush fire and then evolve into something much more serious.

With the holiday weekend unfolding, people should use extreme caution with outdoor flames, barbecue grills and power equipment.

Never toss burning cigarettes out of the car window.

a large green field: Brush fire generic © Provided by Accuweather, Inc Brush fire generic Avoid parking vehicles over brush as the exhaust system can set leaves and grass ablaze in a matter of minutes.

Temperature and wind conditions are forecast to throttle back early next week, which should reduce the threat for wildfire ignition.

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