Wildfire risk increasing through at least Friday

Published: Sep. 27, 2023 at 5:22 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Wildfire danger is elevated as dry conditions persist and wind increases across Western Colorado late this week.

Wildfire Risk Increases Thursday

A Red Flag Warning is in effect for Thursday from noon until 8 PM. A Red Flag Warning means weather conditions are favorable for wildfires to ignite and spread quickly. The dry vegetation, low humidity, and gusty winds all contribute to the increasing wildfire danger. Outdoor burning is dangerous and should be postponed until weather is more favorable for keeping fires contained.

Wildfire Risk Persists Friday & Saturday

A Fire Weather Watch is in effect for Friday from noon until 8 PM. A Fire Weather Watch means that conditions to warrant a Red Flag Warning are possible. This Fire Weather Watch will probably be upgraded to a Red Flag Warning. The elevated wildfire risk may persist through at least Saturday. Sunday will still be gusty, but cooling and higher humidity may help to reduce the danger somewhat.

Drought Likely Worsening

Rain would help. The weekly Drought Monitor update is released on Thursday. It’s likely to show worsening conditions. We’ve been locked in on Moderate to Severe Drought across the Western Slope since early August. We need the rain, but the positive side is we can enjoy the sunny afternoons hiking or getting that yard work done that we keep putting off.

Our Next 24 Hours

This evening will be clear. Sunset is at 7:03 PM. We’ll cool from middle 80s at 6 PM to middle 70s at 8 PM, then to middle 60s at 10 PM. The rest of tonight will be clear. Low temperatures will be near 54 degrees around Grand Junction, 49 degrees around Montrose, 51 degrees around Delta, and 43 degrees around Cortez. Thursday will be mostly sunny with high fire danger. Wind gusts up to 30-35 mph are likely after noon. We’ll warm from low-to-mid 50s at 7 AM to mid-to-upper 70s at noon, then to low-to-mid 80s at 4 PM. High temperatures will be near 86 degrees around Grand Junction, 83 degrees around Montrose, 85 degrees around Delta, and 81 degrees around Cortez.