First red flag warning of season Saturday | RecordCourier.com

First red flag warning of season Saturday

Gardnerville, Nev. — The first red flag warning of 2018 for extreme fire danger has been issued for Saturday.

Starting 5 a.m., forecasters say to expect gusty winds and low humidity in the valleys of Western Nevada.

Winds of 20-30 mph, gusting to 50 mph are forecast out of the southwest to west from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday.

Humidity will drop to as low as 12 percent, which combined with the winds, will allow fires to grow rapidly in size and intensity before firefighters can respond.

A wind advisory is also in effect, which will affect travel on Highways 395 and 88 in Carson Valley.

Strong winds could bring down tree branches and cause power outages.

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Small boats, kayaks and paddleboats could be prone to capsizing at Lake Tahoe.

The Bureau of Land Management, Carson City District, is asking visitors who plan on target shooting on public lands to be mindful of the conditions and take precautions if they are planning on shooting.

The Chaves Fire, that started June 3 and burned more than 3,000 acres in a little over 24 hours was started by target shooting and serves as a reminder of how quickly fire can start and spread.

"Despite the rain we've gotten over the past month, there is still fuel that can burn," said Ryan Elliot, a fire investigator assigned to BLM's Carson City District. "While some of the heavier fuels like logs and sage brush can remain wet for longer periods, lighter fuels like cheat grass can dry out in a matter of hours increasing the danger of starting a fire."