The National Weather Service Office in Spokane has posted a Red Flag Warning for much of North Central Washington through today (Monday, July 24).

Meteorologist Ken Daniel with the National Weather Service office in Spokane says the notice has been issued due to several factors that will elevate the risk of wildfire spread.

"It's a combination of both the dry conditions and gusty winds. Any existing wildfires will have the potential to grow explosively and any new fire starts will need to be addressed quite quickly to avoid rapid spreading."

Daniel says the winds will be at their most brisk this afternoon and early this evening.

"We are still looking at pretty hot temperatures today with sustained southwest winds of twenty to thirty miles per hour and gusts peaking as high as forty to forty-five miles per hour."

The areas affected by the Red Flag Warning include the Waterville Plateau, the Western Columbia Basin, and the Okanogan Valley.

Winds are expected to subside and to shift from the southwest to the west by late tonight and overnight into Tuesday morning.

The warning is currently set to expire tonight at 6.

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