Red flag warning, fire weather watch issued for Elk Mountains, west-central Colorado |

Red flag warning, fire weather watch issued for Elk Mountains, west-central Colorado

A screen grab of this week's National Weather Service forecast for Aspen.

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning and fire weather watch for much of western Colorado and eastern Utah on Sunday.

According to the NWS office in Grand Junction, critical fire weather conditions are expected across portions of west-central Colorado starting Sunday.

There also will be elevated fire danger across portions of the region, including the Elk Mountains and central mountain valleys, Monday through Wednesday, with wind gusts upwards of 40 to 50 miles per hour expected Tuesday, the NWS said in a weather statement.

A red flag warning, which means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly, below 8,000 feet is in effect for the region from 11 a.m. to midnight Monday. The warning is issued in anticipation of gusty winds, low relative humidity and dry fuels.

A fire weather watch, which means that critical fire weather conditions are forecast to occur, is in effect from late Tuesday morning through Tuesday evening for the same anticipated conditions.

“Conditions could become favorable for the rapid ignition, growth and spread of fires,” the NWS states in its fire weather message issued Sunday. “Agricultural burning is strongly discouraged.”

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