DENVER (AP) -- Warm, hot weather and gusty winds are raising the risk of wildfires in the Southwest.
Red flag warnings have been posted Monday for Colorado Springs and other parts of Colorado as well as New Mexico and Arizona. The danger is also high in the Texas Panhandle and southwestern Kansas
On the plains of southeastern Colorado, temperatures are expected to hit the 90s.
Any fires that start are likely to spread quickly.
Conditions have improved somewhat in California, where ocean breezes and lower temperatures over the weekend helped firefighters gain the upper hand on wildfires there.
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U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
U.S. Forest Service
Coconino National Forest www.fs.usda.gov/coconino & Kaibab National Forest www.fs.usda.gov/kaibab
For Immediate Release
May 19, 2014
Red Flag warning today for Kaibab and Coconino National Forests; Stage I fire restrictions remain in effect
Flagstaff, Ariz. – The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for today from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. for much of northern Arizona including the Kaibab and Coconino National Forests.
Visitors to the Kaibab and Coconino National Forests are advised to refrain from having a campfire when Red Flag Warning conditions exist. This advisory covers all campfires across the forests, including in developed campgrounds.
A Red Flag Warning occurs when the forecast shows strong wind and low relative humidity creating an increased potential for large fire growth. The campfire advisory remains in effect until the Red Flag Warning ends. The National Weather Service is predicting a period of critical fire weather across much of northern Arizona today through Tuesday.
The entire Coconino National Forest and the Williams and Tusayan Ranger Districts of the Kaibab National Forest implemented campfire and smoking restrictions April 18 in order to protect public health and reduce preventable human-caused fires. Fire restrictions have not yet been implemented on the North Kaibab Ranger District due to different weather and fuels conditions.
Under the restrictions, fires, campfires, charcoal, coal and wood stoves are allowed in developed campgrounds only. The restrictions also limit smoking to within enclosed vehicles or buildings or in developed campgrounds. During the duration of a Red Flag Warning, visitors are advised to refrain from having a campfire even in developed campgrounds.
For detailed weather information including warnings issued by the National Weather Service, visit www.wrh.noaa.gov/fgz/.