CDOT: Avoid traveling in first snowstorm of season, anywhere near fires

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DENVER (KDVR) — With a winter storm warning issued for the state, wildfires blazing near major highways and bitter cold temperatures, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is urging travelers to reconsider going anywhere.

The main focus for personnel and resources for CDOT is assisting in road closures for fire evacuations and icy conditions from snowfall. The cold front moving in is expected to impact most of the state with totals of up to eight inches in the Denver metro area and higher totals in the high country.

Avoid the Denver metro area through the mountain corridor to the Eisenhower/Johnson tunnels from Sunday morning through Monday, if possible. CDOT has plows out and is pre-treating main roads and bridges around the Denver metro area.

If travel in the high country is necessary, chain and traction laws may be in effect so make sure tires are ready for winter conditions. Also, have an emergency kit in the event of road closures or delays due to winter weather.

The wildfires burning in the northern mountains near the Front Range will welcome some of the highest accumulation of snow but with firefighters, emergency vehicles and equipment in the area, it is best to avoid if all possible.

Higher elevations in the southwestern and south-central part of the state will see heavy snowfall making travel conditions difficult and the valleys as well with a rain/snow mix expected.

CDOT recommends not traveling on Interstate 25 from Castle Rock to Colorado Springs during the snowfall due to on-going construction and expected icy conditions.

Travel will be dangerous over La Veta and Raton passes in the southeastern mountains with an expected accumulation of 10 to 16 inches. Due to bitter cold temperatures, CDOT warns motorists of possible flash freezing.

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