Strong Winds Fuel Rapid Growth of Colorado Wildfire, Homes Threatened
With dangerous fire conditions in place Monday, Colorado fire crews are trying to contain a massive blaze in the southern part of the state. The Junkins Fire started early Monday morning and has already grown to an estimated 13,300 acres. It’s burning in Custer County, just east of Westcliffe. Fire officials reported that an unknown number of structures were lost Monday morning. The raging fire is also threatening 129 homes and has led to mandatory evacuations.
In the nearby city of Pueblo, smoke filled the sky on Monday and gave an eerie glow over the community. Colorado and several neighboring states are under Red Flag Warnings until Monday night for high fire danger. The warning means that several conditions are in place for extreme fire behavior, including gusty winds up to 55 mph, low humidity and warm temperatures.
Conditions will remain challenging for fire crews battling the Junkins Fire with gusts up to 35 mph Monday night. Winds won’t be quite as strong Tuesday and Wednesday, but will remain breezy with gusts up to 25 mph.
For WeatherNation, Meteorologist Corey Christiansen