Downed power line starts grass fire, red flag warning in effect

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A fallen tree has reportedly taken down a power line and started a grass fire east of Pagosa Springs along U.S. 160, near Bootjack Ranch.

Per Colorado State Patrol personnel, who were first on scene, the fire was estimated at 50 yards by 50 yards.

According to La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) spokesperson Indiana Reed, 125 customers have been affected and LPEA crews are there.

“It could be a rough afternoon with the wind,” she said

Red flag warnings are in effect for the valleys of west-central and southwest Colorado until 6 p.m. today, according to the National Weather Service (NWS), and critical fire weather conditions are expected across the lower valleys of the same area.

According to the NWS, the conditions are occurring ahead of a strong cold front that will be passing through late this morning and afternoon.

“Winds gusting 45 to 60 mph and relatively humidity below 15 percent will be widespread,” the NWS Hazardous Weather Outlook states.

Today’s NWS forecast calls for patchy fog between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., but otherwise a mostly sunny day with a high near 54 degrees. The wind is forecast to be a west-southwest wind at 15-20 mph increasing to 25-35 mph this afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 45 mph.

Tonight’s forecast shows clear skies with a low around 22 degrees and “West wind 10 to 15 mph becoming light and variable after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph.”

Wednesday’s forecast is calling for sunny skies with a high near 58 and calm wind becoming south-southwest around 5 mph in the afternoon.