Dry conditions bring red flag warning for Tuesday, Wednesday in Routt County
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A red flag warning for Routt County will take effect Tuesday and last until Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.
A red flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.
Southwest winds across Routt County are forecast to be from 10 to 20 mph with gusts up to 35 mph. Humidity will be between 8% and 13%.
Conditions will be favorable for the rapid ignition, growth and spread of fires. Agricultural burning is strongly discouraged.
Dry air and hot temperatures 5 to 10 degrees above the average high of 80 degrees will be in store this week, according to Mike Weissbluth, local meteorologist with snowalarm.com.
A red flag warning is generally issued when there is fairly widespread relative humidity of 15% or less and winds gusting up to 25 miles per hour or higher for three hours within a 12-hour period.
The warning means warm temperatures, very low humidities and stronger winds are expected to combine to produce an increased risk of fire danger.
- All burn barrels must be covered with a weighted metal cover, with holes no larger than 3/4-inch.
- 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.
Stage 1 fire restrictions went into effect Friday for the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland. This includes National Forest System lands located in Routt, Garfield, Grand, Jackson, Moffat and Rio Blanco counties in northwest Colorado; as well as Albany, Campbell, Carbon, Converse, Crook, Natrona, Niobrara, Platte and Weston counties in Wyoming.
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