SALT LAKE CITY -- Fire officials are warning of an increased fire danger for parts of Utah because of hot weather and high winds.
The National Weather Service is issuing a red flag warning through Thursday evening for the west desert and southern Dixie regions of Utah.
Forecasters say wind gusts could reach 40 miles per hour before thunderstorms move into the state late Thursday.
A red flag warning means that a combination of low humidity, high winds and hot temperatures create the potential for explosive fire situations.
Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and Public Lands spokesman Jason Curry says the amount of vegetation on hillsides is dangerous, even if it looks green.
Fire crews are already battling multiple blazes in southern Utah started by lightning, although none of them are threatening populated areas.