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Dry, warm Colorado weather presents high risk of wildfires this week

Colorado red flag weather
Posted at 12:10 PM, Jul 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-07 14:10:17-04

DENVER — Colorado is at a high risk for wildfires across the state, and the conditions won't be improving much over the next week.

Dry, warm weather is forecasted through the end of the week, with temperatures in Denver expected to stay in the upper 90s and reach triple digits on Friday.

In the high country, temperatures are expected to be in the 80s with the fire danger considered to be high. Red flag warnings have been issued for much of the Western Slop and the Eastern Plains.

"Conditions will be favorable for the rapid ignition, and growth and spread of fires," according to the National Weather Service in Boulder forecast Tuesday.

The warmer-than-usual temperatures come as the much of southern Colorado is dealing with extreme drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. A pocket of southeastern Colorado is suffering from exceptional drought conditions, the most intense listing on the drought monitor and the first exceptional drought conditions in Colorado since February 2019.

A sliver of Colorado is now experiencing exceptional drought – the most severe category given by the U.S. Drought Monitor – for the first time since February 2019, and 84% of the state is now seeing some facet of drought.

North-central and northwestern Colorado are the only regions not considered to be abnormally dry as of last week's latest drought monitor update.

On Tuesday, Aurora Fire Rescue crews were battling a vegetation fire near the Aurora Municipal Center. Last week, a brush fire near Chatfield State Park quickly spread to more than 460 acres before crews fully contained the blaze.