At least three Western US states are facing the possibly of quickly spreading wildfires due to hot weather and fire-friendly conditions heading into the Fourth of July holiday.

Offices of the National Weather Service (NWS) in California’s San Francisco Bay Area, Utah and Idaho all said that areas of their states were under “Red Flag” fire warnings due to the combination of scorching hot summer temperatures and dry and windy conditions on Wednesday.

Red Flag warnings indicate “that critical fire weather conditions
are either occurring now, or will occur shortly,” according to NWS. Those in high-risk areas were asked to avoid burning anything outside, including setting off fireworks, due to the potential for “rapid fire spread.”

Critical Fire Warnings Map States Independence Day
A firefighter is pictured near a wildfire in Fresno County, California on June 26, 2024. Officials in California, Utah and Idaho this week have issued “Red Flag” fire warnings due to weather conditions heading into…


DAVID SWANSON/AFP

While warnings were in effect in areas of Idaho until 9 p.m. local time on Wednesday, critical fire conditions were expected to continue in parts of Utah until Thursday night and until Saturday night in areas of Northern California.

The following map created by Newsweek shows the states that NWS said were under red flag warnings at the time of publication:

Map Shows States Facing Critical Fire Warnings
This map, created by Newsweek using Flourish, shows that California, Idaho and Utah were all facing “critical” fire warnings heading into the Fourth of July holiday.

Flourish

Newsweek reached out for comment to NWS via email on Wednesday evening.

The San Francisco Bay Area NWS office said on Wednesday that Red Flag warnings would be in effect until 5 a.m. on Friday morning in the Marin Coastal Range and the Sonoma Coastal Range.

High elevations of the Bay Area’s Santa Cruz Mountains, North Bay interior mountains and the East Bay Hills are under warnings until 9 p.m. Saturday night.

Additionally, what had previously been “fire weather watches” in Monterey County and San Benito County were upgraded to Red Flag warnings beginning at 5 am on Friday and lasting until 9 pm on Saturday.

A wildfire currently raging in Northern California’s Butte County led to the consumption of 3,000 acres and the evacuation of 13,000 locals as of Wednesday afternoon, according to NBC station KNBC.

In Idaho, Red Flag warnings were in effect until Wednesday night in areas of Snake River Valley, Twin Falls, Raft River Valley, Goose Creek and the Sawtooth National Forest.

Utah’s Red Flag warnings cover multiple areas in a majority of the state’s 29 counties, including the following: Box Elder, Cache, Emery, Garfield, Juab, Kane, Morgan, Rich, Salt Lake, San Juan, Sanpete, Summit, Tooele, Utah, Washington, Wasatch, Wayne and Weber.

Officials have expressed heightened concerns about the spread of wildfires in at-risk areas due to the likely use of fireworks on and around the Fourth of July.

Julie Heckman, executive director of the fireworks trade organization American Pyrotechnics Association, said in a statement last month that “fireworks use is expected to hit an all-time high this year” due in part to “July 4 falling on a Thursday for the long weekend.”

California State Fire Marshal Daniel Berlant noted in a statement last week that fireworks caused “over 10,500 fires” and “46 million dollars in property loss” over the past decade in California alone, despite bans on fireworks in many vulnerable areas.