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Attention please: Increased potential for Red Flag Warnings through the summer

Posted at 8:19 PM, Jun 17, 2024

COLORADO SPRINGS — “It's really comforting to know that people are paying attention and doing that (mitigation) for their property, because it helps all of us,” said Colorado Springs homeowner, Kim Young.

It is the Homeowners Association mitigation week in her Pine Cliff neighborhood.

The project happens in cooperation with the Colorado Springs Fire Department.

Neighbors clear brush and debris from around homes to reduce fire danger-- then CSFD mitigation crews go through the neighborhood chipping and hauling away the fire fuel left along streets.

It is important to locals like Young who had a view of the Waldo Canyon fire as it burned through the Mountain Shadows neighborhood and in the direction of Pine Cliff where neighbors had to evacuate.

“When the fire laid down and rushed down the mountain, it was incredible to watch and see it rushing through Mountain Shadows. We have so many friends who live in Mountain Shadows,” said Young.

More than a decade after the fire the experience sticks in memories and triggers concerns that others are not using caution when wind kicks up and Red Flag Warnings are issued.

The concerns are things like tossed cigarette butts and equipment that can throw sparks.

“People not thinking about what they're doing out of habit. And I really do worry about that, because the winds run around here and whip around so fast,” said Young.

“When red flag warnings are issued in a certain area, if you live in that county, you want to avoid outdoor burning,” said News 5 Meteorologist, Alan Rose.

The bottom-line of a Red Rlag Warning is extreme caution with open flames and anything that can start a fire.

The description of criteria for a Red Flag Warning posted by the National Weather Service is: “A Red Flag Warning means warm temperatures, very low humidities, and stronger winds are expected to combine to produce an increased risk of fire danger.”

The News 5 weather team said the long-term forecast indicates Red Flag Warnings could be common this summer.

Rose said, “Even when we get wetter patterns like what we expect to see late this week, if we turn the page or flip the script, and then we go back to that windy, hot, dry weather, those red flag warnings can come back just like that.”

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