Fire danger ramps up with temperatures surging into mid-90s

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LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- With temperatures expected in the mid-90s on Tuesday along with low humidity and winds, the fire danger will be high, officials said.

Tuesday will be the warmest day of the week in the Denver metro area. It will be mostly sunny through the early afternoon with winds gusting to 10-30 mph.

Higher gusts will be in the foothills and mountains, where the fire danger will be high. There's a chance of late-day thunderstorms with lightning that could ignite a fire.

West Metro Fire District is reminding people to stay vigilant and focus on what can be done to protect homes.

On Green Mountain in Jefferson County, eight wildfires have been set since November. All are suspected to be arson and all have been unsolved.

With trees and brush in open space next to homes, it's a serious concern. Crews did some mitigation work over the weekend to reduce fuels.

This time of year, the big concern is fireworks. Anything that leaves the ground or explodes in Colorado is illegal.

But every year, there are injuries and fires related to fireworks that can turn catastrophic.

"The problem with fireworks is a lot of times they end up in places that we don’t notice so that fire can stay dormant and then the next day, it’ll jump up or it can go right into a bush on the side of the house and then ignite the bush and then the house," West Metro Fire assistant chief Jay Jackson said.

"What’s hard along the Front Range of Colorado is we get a little bit of rain and everything greens up. But underneath the fuels, under the grasses, it is still really dry.

"All the open spaces are still dry. We don’t have the moisture in grass that would prevent a potentially catastrophic fire."

Homeowners need to focus on mitigation, especially in the foothills. Mowing and cutting trees will reduce fuels in case there is a fire.