Vail area weather turns windy, warm, dry
Thursday sees a red flag warning; winds may ease
A combination of warm weather, stiff winds and dry conditions combined Thursday to prompt a red-flag fire weather warning.
The National Weather Service’s Grand Junction office issued a warning Thursday afternoon into the evening. The local fire danger was boosted to “extreme” Thursday.
The fire weather warning prompted Eagle County to move into Stage 1 fire restrictions, which restrict many types of outdoor burning. Those restrictions are imposed any time a red flag warning is issued.
National Weather Service forecasters are closely watching conditions going into the weekend.
Dennis Phillips, a meteorologist in the Grand Junction office of the weather service, said late Thursday that Friday’s weather remained as a fire weather watch, a step below warning levels.
Indications showed lighter winds were anticipated for Friday into the weekend, Phillips said. Winds between 25 and 35 mph will prompt a red-flag warning, Phillips said. The strongest gust Thursday was 36 mph at the Eagle County Regional Airport.
Dry conditions will persist below 7,500 feet of elevation through the weekend, with a 40% chance of showers in Vail on Saturday.
While there may or may not be more red-flag warnings this weekend, local fire officials are working to spread the word about those warnings in the future.
Eagle River Fire Protection District Community Risk Manager and Public Information Officer Tracy LeClair said local fire stations will fly red flags just below the U.S. flag during warnings. LeClair said the Colorado Department of Transportation will also post the warnings on its message signs along Interstate 70.