Red flag warning issued for much of West Slope
The Grand Junction office of the National Weather Service issued a red flag warning today for much of the region.
The warning, in effect until at least 8 p.m. this evening, is for the Grand Junction, Paradox Valley, northern San Juan, North Fork and Gunnison Basin forecast areas.
The weather service says thunderstorms and gusty winds, coupled with dry conditions, make the five regions highly susceptible to fires at all elevations.
The service is forecasting widely scattered thunderstorms for this afternoon, many of them dry. It also predicts winds gusting to as high as 45 mph, saying that rapid fire growth on any existing wildfires or prescribed burns and agricultural burns are possible, and open burning is not recommended.
A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will occur shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warn temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior, the service warns.