A red flag warning will go into effect Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. for all of southern Colorado, as dry conditions and gusty winds throughout the region combine and create prime fire weather, according to the National Weather Service.
The warning includes El Paso, Fremont, Pueblo, Crowley, Otero, Bent, Kiowa and Prowers counties, all of the San Luis Valley, the Sangre de Cristo and Wet mountains, the Interstate 25 corridor and all of the southeast plains.
"A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly," the weather service stated. "A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior."
The warning comes after a blaze severely damaged a home in Black Forest Monday and set residents' nerves on edge. The area is still recovering from the most destructive wildfire in Colorado's history that killed two people and ravaged 488 homes last June.
According to Black Forest fire officials, the structure fire that broke out about 3 p.m. Monday near Milam and Burgess roads was likely caused by improperly disposed ashes.
Residents of the home told firefighters they placed hot ashes in a can near some bushes next to the house, which likely ignited with the heat from the can.
Humidity levels are expected to dip as low as 8 percent and winds could gust up to 45 mph in some areas Tuesday, possibly causing any fire to grow out of control quickly, according to the weather service.
Mostly sunny and breezy conditions are in the forecast for Colorado Springs, with a high near 57 and southwest winds gusting as high as 35 mph, the weather service said. Evening temperatures could fall to 30 degrees and winds will persist through the night, with gusts up to 30 mph.