Winds on the rise Tuesday

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The National Weather Service has a Dust Storm Warning Tuesday until 3:00 p.m. for all of the southeast Colorado plains, including the I-25 and Highway 50 corridors.

"Since it will be very dry, and fire danger will be extremely critical, a Red flag Warning is in effect from Tuesday morning until late Tuesday evening", said NWS officials on their Midland regional website Monday.

As a result, the NWS said, "new fires may be hard or impossible to control due to fast rates of spread". Outdoor burning is highly discouraged. Southwest winds 20 to 30 miles per hour, with gusts as high as 40 miles per hour.

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Tonight: Lows drop to the teens and 20s under mostly clear skies. No precipitation is in the forecast in Montezuma County for the rest of the week, according to the weather service. The weather will remain un-settled for Tuesday with a slight chance or snow and rain with gusty winds.

Two homes were destroyed and three others suffered minor damage after a fire in one of them quickly spread in a suburban Denver neighborhood in high winds. The Cortez Fire Protection District was called to the scene about 4 p.m. People with agricultural land (who don't need permits) are still allowed to burn but are strongly encouraged to hold off until weather conditions change. For this reason, we have a wind alert in effect Thursday.

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