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

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
April 21, 2019, 3:26:32 AM EDT

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 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.

Fire weather April 20

"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."

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What you can do to help prevent deadly, devastating wildfires from occurring

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.

Brush fire generic

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.

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 this week, which should reduce the threat for wildfire ignition.

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