Strong winds increase fire danger across state

DENVER -- A red flag warning is in place for most of the state on Monday. Officials are warning people to be careful after a number of wildfires on Sunday.

Winds are expected to be even stronger on Monday, leaving much of the Front Range under extreme fire danger.

The red flag warning is in place until 6 p.m. Outdoor burning is not advised. If a fire starts under these conditions, it will spread very quickly.

A high wind warning is in effect for northern Colorado and the eastern Plains until 5 p.m.

It was a scary scene southeast of Denver on Sunday as a fire swept through Elbert County.

The fire burned four homes and five outbuildings, and forced the evacuation of several people and livestock.

Later, a fire burned about 700 acres on Fort Carson near Colorado Springs.

That fire got close to homes, but none burned.

On Monday, winds are expected to be very strong along the Front Range, with gusts up to 60 mph expected by the afternoon.

Firefighters will be gearing up for another busy day.

“It’s the perfect storm," Franktown Fire Department spokeswoman Kim Spuehler said. "If you look at the grass right now, you could crunch it like a pencil.

"It’s just so dry, where something that wouldn’t ignite on any other day, you’re given these dry conditions and the wind, it’s the perfect storm to have a big fire.”

Authorities believe the fire in Elbert County was an accident. It's not known what caused the fire on Fort Carson.

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