Red flag fire warning issued for Tri-Cities. Windy conditions will bring high risk

A red flag fire warning has been issued for all of the Mid-Columbia because of gusty winds and low relative humidity.

Combined with hot summer temperatures, those conditions could cause any fire that starts to spread rapidly through the region’s dry vegetation.

The red flag warning starts at 2 p.m. Thursday and expires at 9 p.m. Winds are expected to be strongest during those hours in the Tri-Cities.

Wind speeds of 15 to 21 mph are forecast for the afternoon and evening, with gusts as high as 28 to 30 mph in the Tri-Cities, according to the National Weather Service.

Winds should calm on Friday.

The National Weather Service forecasts high wind gusts through Thursday evening in Eastern Washington and Oregon. Courtesy National Weather Service

The forecast for the weekend calls for gradually warming temperatures, with highs that have been in the 80s rising to as high as 92 degrees by Sunday.

During the early workweek, highs at the Pasco airport could be as hot as 99 degrees, according to the weather service.