Colorado Weather: Wind gusts bring power outages and the threat of wildfires and avalanches

WCup Mens Downhill Skiing
John Locher/AP Photo
Workers remove fencing along the race course after a men’s World Cup downhill skiing race was cancelled due to weather Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, in Beaver Creek, Colo.

Wind gusts caused power outages, dust plumes, and fire and avalanche danger Friday and through the weekend — a classic Colorado weather conundrum.

Metro Denver had multiple power outages Friday afternoon. CORE Electric reports 109 residents lost power in Jefferson, Douglas, and Elbert counties. Jefferson County had the most number of residents impacted.

In Aurora, Denver and Glendale, Xcel Energy said nine outages impacted over 4,400 residents. Both utilities expect to restore power in their respective areas later Friday afternoon.

Areas outside of metro Denver, like Fort Collins and Colorado Springs, also have outages but residents were not as severely impacted. Xcel reported six outages impacting 229 residents in Boulder.

The National Weather Service said fire danger was high in Southeast Colorado Friday through 5 p.m. Drivers traveling on the northern and southern portion of the I-25 corridor should be cautious. Blowing dust could make travel dangerous and difficult, especially in southwest and northeast Colorado.

A high wind restriction for high profile and light trailers was issued between State Highway 1 and Wyoming border in Larimer County from Mile 281 to Mile 298.88 Friday.

Residents should avoid activities involving fire and should drive slowly with their lights on if caught in a dust storm. 

West Metro Fire Rescue sent crews to Pritchett outside of Springfield in Baca County to assist with any potential wildfires.

High winds in Western Colorado prompted avalanche warnings from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC). The CAIC lists mountain ranges near Crested Butte, Glenwood Springs, and Steamboat Springs at Level 4 meaning conditions are very dangerous. Travel in those areas is not recommended. Those conditions are expected to last through Saturday.