Fire conditions will reach ‘extremely critical’ level going into the weekend

Pueblo Fire Department
Firefighters work a fire in Pueblo that prompted the evacuation of an animal shelter, park and nearby neighborhoods on April 10, 2022.

A combination of strong winds, low humidity and high temperatures will create ideal fire conditions across most of the state through Thursday. Temperatures across the Front Range are expected to reach the high 80’s, before dropping into mid-70’s Thursday and Friday. 

Officials are warning Coloradans that even the smallest spark outdoors can lead to massive wildfires. They say people should avoid outdoor burning of any kind, and much of the state is under fire restrictions.

In addition to critical fire weather, smoke from fires in New Mexico has begun blowing into Southern Colorado.

“We have been noticing that it's projecting a pretty good little plume that's heading our way,” said National Weather Service Pueblo meteorologist Paul Steward. “That's another concern of ours is we're gonna see some of that smoke infiltrating over some of the southern mountains and the plains and could definitely reduce visibilities and make travel kind of tricky for people.” 

Wildfire smoke contains fine particles that can penetrate deep into the lungs, aggravating chronic heart and lung conditions. It can also cause headaches, a runny nose, cough and difficulty breathing. Younger people and older people tend to be more susceptible. 

The Eastern Plains may also see dry thunderstorms Wednesday night that could produce fires. 

Last month was the 5th driest April on record for Colorado, which led the NWS to issue 16 critical fire weather warnings, a single-month record.