BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — High winds are expected on the Front Range Monday night through Tuesday morning which could cause dangerous flying debris and downed power lines.

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning from 6 p.m. Monday through 9 a.m. Tuesday along the Front Range with gusts up to 80 mph possible in the northern and southern foothills. The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office specifically warned there is no open burning allowed, even though the NWS hasn’t officially issued a red flag warning for the area.

Wind gust forecast for Tuesday evening

Despite cooler temperatures and even a bit higher humidity, there’s still a wildfire risk. Chief Meteorologist Dave Fraser said a spark can still become a blaze very easily.

“That’s mainly because we’re not really into the Spring growing season,” Fraser said. “Things are starting to turn green, but we have a lot of grasses and natural plants that are dormant and everything is still very dry.”

The Marshall Fire in Boulder County was Colorado’s most destructive fire in history which spread quickly due to high winds. A red flag warning was not issued on the day of the fire, which sparked many to question what conditions constitute that warning.

Greg Hanson with the NWS said that the specific criteria for issuing a red flag warning are wind speeds at or over 25 mph and relative humidity at or below 15%. Both of these conditions have to last for at least three hours.

As of Monday morning, the humidity reported at Boulder Municipal Airport was around 30% with winds below 10 mph. But conditions are expected to change later Monday afternoon into the evening.

Boulder County Fire Rescue also issued a warning via Twitter for residents in the county to not openly burn anything during the warning.

With the highest gusts forecast in several counties, including Boulder, Jefferson, Larimer and parts of Douglas, the NWS said power outages are expected and travel will be difficult.

“Remain in the lower levels of your home during the windstorm, and avoid windows. Watch for falling debris and tree limbs. Use caution if you must drive,” the NWS website said.

One of the best ways to prepare your home for such a wind event is to secure heavier outdoor belongings and bring lightweight ones inside. Winds of 40 mph or more and gusts over 55 mph could cause serious property damage, as well as flying debris causing injury to residents and animals.

Stay updated with the Pinpoint Weather Team and the latest conditions.