DENVER — The strong winds that fueled high fire danger Friday also blew dust and smoke across Colorado's Front Range.
Winds were incredibly fierce Friday afternoon, gusting up to 73 mph at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora and regularly gusting above 50 mph.
Smoke from fires burning south of the state in New Mexico as well as the Silver Charm that was burning in north Colorado Springs blew north into the Denver metro area. Dust was also picked up in the strong winds and blown around the state.
Located near Interquest Parkway and Interstate 25 in Colorado Springs, the Silver Charm grass fire led to evacuation orders for the Farm subdivision on Ridgeline Drive about 1 p.m. Those evacuation orders were lifted shortly before 4 p.m.
There are multiple wildfires currently burning in New Mexico, including the Cooks Peak Fire, which has burned 48,672 acres so far, the Calf Canyon Fire, which has burned 34,768 acres so far and combined with the Hermit's Peak Fire.
Blustery winds combined with unseasonably warm temperatures created extreme fire danger across much of Colorado.
The temperature at Denver International Airport (DIA) rose to 89 degrees Friday afternoon to set a record high for April 22. The previous record high was 88 degrees Fahrenheit, set in 1989, according to the National Weather Service in Boulder.
On top of that, the high of 89 degrees in Denver made it the hottest April temperature in the city since 1992, and it also tied for Denver's second-hottest April temperature on record.
In welcome news, a weather system will bring snow to Colorado's mountains and a few light rain showers to lower elevations over the weekend, with cooler temperatures in the mid- to upper 50s.
Mild weather returns next week with sunshine and 60s Monday in Denver; however, it's looking like we'll be back into the 80s by the middle of next week.
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