Weekend weather makes for potential wildfire hazard

By: matt steiner matt.steiner@gazette.com
May 24, 2013 Updated: May 24, 2013 at 10:05 am

By mid Saturday, weather conditions in the Pikes Peak region could be prime for potential wildfires, according to the National Weather Service in Pueblo.

A fire weather watch will go into effect at noon Saturday and last through at least Saturday evening, according to meteorologist Makoto Moore.

Moore said relative humidity is expected to dip into the single digits in the heat of the day Saturday and winds could gust up to 40 mph. Combine those factors with high temperatures in the mid 80s for the Colorado Springs area and the area is subject to the recipe for fires.

"If any fires did start, they could take off in those prime conditions," said Moore, who also noted that precipitation is not expected through the entire Memorial Day weekend.

Moore said the weather service issued the watch after review potential weather patterns and taking input from the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management about the conditions of ground fuels in the region.

The forecaster said Saturday's weather could continue through Sunday and Monday. The decision weather to issue a fire weather watch, or even a red flag warning, for those days would not be made until at least Friday afternoon.

Friday's conditions are expected to be breezy and mostly sunny with highs near 80 for Colorado Springs.

Teller County is expecting temperatures to reach the mid to high 70s for most of the weekend with mostly sunny conditions.

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