April 23, 2014 Updated: April 23, 2014 at 8:25 am
Gusty winds and dry conditions throughout most of southeastern Colorado prompted the National Weather Service to issue a red flag warning from noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday.
The weather service said wind gusts up to 35 mph with relative humidity levels below 12 percent could cause extreme fire behavior and rapid growth could be expected with any fire that sparks.
The warning area covers the Interstate 25 corridor and all of the southeastern plains, including El Paso, Pueblo, Huerfano, Las Animas, Crowley, Otero, Kiowa, Bent, Prowers and Baca counties.
"A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly," the service stated.
Mostly sunny conditions with high temperatures expected to reach the upper 60s were forecast for Colorado Springs Wednesday, with possible isolated showers and thunderstorms after 4 p.m.
New rainfall amounts could measure up to less than a tenth of an inch, with slightly higher amounts possible in thunderstorms, the weather service said.
Showers and thunderstorms could continue through the night, particularly before midnight, with temperatures dipping to the low 30s.
Wind gusts up to 30 mph throughout the Pikes Peak region and less than a tenth of an inch of possible rainfall, according to the weather service.