The National Weather Service issued a red-flag warning for Thursday for the Durango area.
The second red-flag warning of 2015, indicating gusty winds, low humidity and dry fuels, will be in effect from noon to 9 p.m. at elevations below 8,000 feet.
The weather service particularly noted the danger of agricultural ditch-burning getting out of control while the winds are blowing. The service is predicting gusts of up to 45 mph.
The Durango Fire Protection District has suspended permitted burning for the second consecutive day because of the warning.
“I was talking to someone the other day, and they were saying, ‘We haven’t had any dust on the snow this year,’” said Jeff Colton, a meteorologist with the Grand Junction office of the weather service. “Twelve hours later, here it is.”
The red-flag warning conditions come from a cold front that stalled north of the San Juan Mountains, he said.
Another one is forecast to arrive Thursday evening and push over the mountains. The front will make Thursday night and Friday chillier than recent days according to the forecast, with the below-freezing temperatures both nights in the 23-degree range and the high Friday at around 55 degrees. That’s at least 10 degrees cooler than the temperatures in the high 60s and lower 70s since Friday.
Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any moisture headed our way soon.
“There’s nothing out there until maybe the end of next week,” Colton said. “But that’s pretty far out, and the way storms have been missing you this year, this seems unlikely.”