FLAGSTAFF, AZ — Firefighters battling a half-dozen wildfires in the Southwest are bracing for the return of ferocious winds.
More than 500 firefighters are manning fire lines in Arizona and New Mexico and more help is on the way.
The largest type of management team plans to take command of resources Friday at one of the biggest, most dangerous fires near Flagstaff.
A brief break in the weather allowed crews to launch aerial attacks on some of the fires Thursday, but that's unlikely Friday.
Strong, southwest winds will increase this morning across AZ, with higher gusts downwind of the higher terrain. Strongest gusts across eastern areas where a High Wind Warning is in place. Winds will become westerly later this evening, before becoming light overnight. #azwx pic.twitter.com/zuQdSbkmcc— NWS Flagstaff (@NWSFlagstaff) April 22, 2022
Forest Service officials in New Mexico say there's “high confidence" a widespread extreme and catastrophic fire weather event will occur with sustained winds up to 50 mph.