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Tips to stay safe during high wind advisories and fire danger

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Extreme winds and unseasonably hot temperatures are making for troublesome fire conditions in Southern Colorado.

A high wind warning was in effect over the weekend for much of Southern Colorado. Some areas experienced 60 mile per hour wind gusts Sunday. If a fire were to spark, the warm dry winds combined with low humidity could ignite flames and cause rapid spread.

A common danger with these high wind advisories is downed power lines. Officials say if you come across one to avoid the area and report it by calling 911.

"Stay very clear of those power lines when they're down, they can be very dangerous," Pueblo Fire Captain Woody Percival said. "You cannot tell if they're energized or not. Something else to consider too is if you're in a vehicle and the power lines come down on your car, stay in your car. Do not try to exit it, wait until we can get on scene to help you get out safely."

In high wind conditions, fire officials say to expect to possibly lose power.

Also in these high wind conditions, trees can uproot and fall into roadways. Which should also be avoided and reported.

"Historically we have had several trees that will uproot and fall," Palmer Lake Fire Captain Daniel Snelling said. "Typically they're going to be in areas where the tree is standing by itself."

A fire can easily feed another fire in high wind conditions. Fire officials say a spark can travel a quarter of a mile.

"Under conditions like this, wildland fires have risen dramatically lately," Percival said. "Especially in our high risk areas like river bottoms and those types of fires can take off on us very quickly."

There are preventative things residents can do around their home to minimize fire risk. Such as keeping the space around their home clean and clear of debris, including gutters.

"Don't let leaves accumulate, if a spark were to fly it can set your house on fire," Percival said.

Also especially during these high wind advisories, officials say to keep smoking and outdoor cooking to a minimum.

"If you have a trailer on your vehicle make sure your chains don't drag when you're going down the road," Percival said. "It's a common thing that starts fires along roadways."

Fire officials recommend everyone to have a 72 hour kit in place incase power is lost to their home or if they are evacuated. 

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Natasha Lynn

Natasha is a reporter for Good Morning Colorado during the week and on weekends.


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