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Little relief from record heat around Colorado Springs

June 6, 2018 Updated: June 6, 2018 at 7:01 pm
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photo - The view from the summit of Pikes Peak, looking south, on Wednesday morning, June 6, 2018. (Courtesy of City of Colorado Springs)
The view from the summit of Pikes Peak, looking south, on Wednesday morning, June 6, 2018. (Courtesy of City of Colorado Springs) 

Colorado Springs cooled off Wednesday — but only slightly.

After tying the city’s record high for June 5 — 92 degrees — on Tuesday, temperatures dropped to a frosty 90 degrees.

The heat comes after a month of May that the weather service said was the warmest since the Dust Bowl days of 1934.

“This is 6.2 degrees above normal and makes May of 2018 the warmest May on record in Colorado Springs by crushing the previous warmest May average temperature of 60.8 degrees in 1934,” the weather service said Wednesday.

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration also released May data for the nation on Wednesday, with similar findings.

“The average May temperature across the contiguous U.S. was 65.4 degrees, 5.2 degrees above average, making it the warmest May in the 124-year record, according to scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information,” the agency said on its website.

Temperatures are expected to hang in the high 80s Thursday and hit the 90s for the weekend before cooling off slightly Monday.

The continuing hot and dry weather is expected to exacerbate wildfire dangers in the region through the weekend.

On the year, the Pikes Peak region is about 2 inches short on annual rainfall totals, with less than 4 inches of moisture since Jan. 1, the weather service said.

The warm, dry conditions have alarmed fire officials across the region.

Manitou Springs Fire Chief John Forsett issued a fire ban Wednesday, outlawing open burning and outdoor smoking “because weather patterns continue to make worse already extreme fire danger conditions.”

Outdoor burning is allowed only with liquid propane or gas-fueled cooking devices with a 10-foot separation from combustible materials. Outdoor smoking is allowed only on Manitou Avenue.

In El Paso County, Sheriff Bill Elder ramped up fire restrictions Tuesday.

The move banned outdoor burning, fireworks and even outdoor smoking in unincorporated areas of the county.

The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, on Wednesday said wildfires were burning on nearly 104,000 acres across the nation, with seven new fires reported in the past day.

In Colorado, the 416 fire north of Durango grew to more than 4,000 acres Wednesday, according to the Durango Herald, as firefighters worked to ring it with containment lines. The fire was reported as 10 percent contained Wednesday evening.

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