National forests and parks in Arizona and New Mexico have already been shut down as precautions.
Over 2,800 square miles of public land in southwestern Colorado will be closed to campers, hikers and bikers because of the fire danger.
In Colorado, the Arkansas benefits from an injection of water from the Fryingpan River on the other side of the Sawatch Range.
Wildfires can make creeks and rivers boiling hot and clogged with debris, turning habitats fatal for aquatic species.
Projections show there's a chance that Lake Mead will fall low enough in 2020 to trigger cutbacks under agreements governing the system.
The Colorado River is expected to only carry 43 percent of the average amount of water into Lake Powell this year.
John Fleck, director of the University of New Mexico Water Resources Program, says there are signs that years of work could be at risk.
The normal staid diplomacy of Colorado River managers was upended in a spat between Denver Water and the Central Arizona Project.
Most of Colorado also is under severe drought and almost all of the Texas Panhandle is seeing extreme drought or worse conditions.