Red Flag fire danger warning in effect Sunday until 9 p.m.; heed the safety precautions

A Red Flag fire danger warning is in effect for Garfield County and virtually all of northwest Colorado until 9 p.m. Sunday evening.

A Red Flag Warning means warm temperatures, very low humidities and stronger winds are expected to combine to produce an increased risk of fire danger.

The Sunday forecast for the Glenwood Springs area from the National Weather Service (NWS) called for a high of 92 degrees Fahrenheit, no precipitation and westerly winds gusting to 15 to 20 mph.

“Conditions will be favorable for easy ignition and rapid spread of fires due to low relative humidity and strong gusts on Sunday,“ according to a NWS alert. ”A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly.“

A fireworks use ban and Stage 1 fire ban also are in effect for Garfield and neighboring counties, meaning:

  • Campfires are allowed only within designated fire grates in developed campgrounds (i.e. a metal, in-ground containment structure — fire pans and rock campfire rings are not acceptable).
  • No fires of any type including charcoal outside of developed areas.
  • No smoking except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or in a barren area free of vegetation.
  • No use of explosive materials, including fireworks and explosive targets.
  • No welding or operation of an acetylene or other similar torch with open flame except from an area that has been cleared of vegetation.
  • No operation of any internal combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed and in working order.

The NWS also advises the following fire safety precautions:

  • Do not throw cigarettes or matches out of a moving vehicle. They may ignite dry grass on the side of the road and become a wildfire.
  • Extinguish all outdoor fires properly. Drown fires with plenty of water and stir to make sure everything is cold to the touch. Dunk charcoal in water until cold. Do not throw live charcoal on the ground and leave it.
  • Never leave a fire unattended. Sparks or embers can blow into leaves or grass, ignite a fire, and quickly spread.

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