Wildfire risk will be widespread throughout southern Colorado this week, with high fire danger expected to come from winds gusting up to 45 mph over the San Luis Valley and the eastern plains.

A Red Flag Warning has been issued from 11:00 AM until 8:00 PM Wednesday for gusty winds, low humidity, and dry fuels across southern parts. Extreme fire behavior potential is expected for the following areas, eastern plains, San Luis Valley,  I-25 corridor, Monument, Black Forest, and Northern El Paso and Fremont counties. A Fire Weather Watch will also be in place for Thursday afternoon.

Extreme caution is being advised by the National Weather Service warning, “rapid fire growth will occur if a fire starts.”  Be prepared and avoid outdoor burning and any other activity that could spark a fire.

While high wildfire danger is expected midweek, light snow and rain showers will continue to linger across the mountains on Tuesday – particularly areas that lie north of I-70. This round of snow will also extend to higher west and southwest facing mountains slopes. Gusty afternoon winds expected to reduce visibilities and blow snow over the mountain passes could make for hazardous driving conditions.

A cold front pushing its way through the state late Thursday evening will bring another round of accumulating snow to the mountains from Friday to Saturday morning. Widespread below-freezing temperatures are also expected.

According to Joel Gratz of OpenSnow, this next storm will blanket most mountains in snow accumulations of 4 to 12 inches, followed by a track of calmer weather for early April.  To see a full breakdown of the extended forecast, click here.

Editor’s Note: All weather statements and snow accumulations are subject to change. Check the official Colorado Department of Transportation website for up-to-date information on road conditions and the National Weather Service for updates on incoming storms. For your mountain forecast, we recommend visiting OpenSnow. For daily avalanche conditions, always check with avalanche.state.co.us before heading into the backcountry. 

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