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Red Flag Warning in Effect, Experts Warn of Wildfire Danger

Sunday, April 20th, 2008 12:06pm MDT

Red Flag Warning TodayA Red Flag Warning has been issued for most of the state as warm temperatures and low humidities have increased the danger of fires getting out of control. This was witnessed first hand last week with the four wildfires in southern Colorado that quickly got out of hand.

Further, the AP is reporting that while we have had record snowpack this winter, that doesn’t necessarily translate to decreased fire danger.

Wildfire experts say the problem is the winter was short, which means the trees and plants absorbed less moisture than if the snow cover had been around longer.

They say that’s one of the factors behind a fire near Carbondale last week that burned 1 and 1/2 square miles.

Capt. Shaun Moore of the Greater Eagle Fire Protection District says the snowpack could actually boost the wildfire risk because the snow has helped grass grow taller. That could make it easier for flames to leap to trees when the grass dries out.

PLEASE be careful out there!

A RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO 8 PM MDT THIS EVENING.

GUSTY SOUTHWEST WINDS AND VERY LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITIES ARE EXPECTED THIS AFTERNOON INTO THE EARLY EVENING HOURS. AS A RESULT A RED FLAG WARNING HAS BEEN ISSUED FROM 12 PM TO 8 PM MDT. AREAS IN THE WARNING WILL AGAIN INCLUDE THE INTERSTATE 25 CORRIDOR AND NORTHEAST PLAINS OF COLORADO.

SOUTHWEST WINDS OF 15 TO 30 MPH WITH A FEW HIGHER GUSTS CAN BE EXPECTED THIS AFTERNOON AND WILL CONTINUE INTO THE EARLY EVENING HOURS. IN ADDITION…RELATIVE HUMIDITY WILL DROP TO AROUND 10 PERCENT. THE GUSTY WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITIES WILL COMBINE WITH DRY FUELS TO CREATE CRITICAL FIRE CONCERNS THROUGH EARLY THIS EVENING.

A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EITHER OCCURRING OR IMMINENT.

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