Red flag warning issued for Thursday in Colorado River basin

Staff reports

A red flag fire warning is in effect until midnight Thursday as the weather conditions continue to be hot and dry for western Colorado.

The warnings cover areas below 7,500 feet in the Colorado River headwaters, which include the Roaring Fork Valley and stretch north of Glenwood Springs and east to Vail Pass, according to the warning issued Thursday by the National Weather Service’s Grand Junction office.

Officials are concerned about gusty winds, low relative humidity and dry fuels. Forecasters are predicting winds 20 to 35 mph with gusts as fast as 50 mph and humidity in the 6% to 11% range.

“A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly,” according to the NWS warning. “A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.”

The warning is in effect Thursday from 9 a.m. to midnight. Forecasts for the rest of the week and into the weekend are calling for highs around 85 degrees in Aspen and near 90 degrees in Glenwood Springs.

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