What’s happening today

Today, firefighting teams on the Weber Fire will focus on protecting structures on the north, east and west sides of the fire, according to the fire Incident Information System website.

“Control objectives include protecting residences, communication sites on the (northeast) flank and preventing the fire from crossing Highway 160,” the website said.

So far, the fire has come within a half mile of the highway. There is also concern that the fire will spread to the south and southwest, said John Barborinas, fire behavior analyst.

A chance for thunderstorms enters the forecast today – 20 percent today and 30 percent tonight, according to the National Weather Service in Grand Junction. But because the air is so dry near the surface of the Earth, the rain is expected to evaporate before it hits the ground, said Darren Clabo, incident meteorologist working on the fire. Officials are worried the thunderstorms will produce dry lightning – lightning without rain – which could spark more fires.

The Weber Fire area is under a red-flag warning from noon to 9 p.m. today because of critical fire weather conditions.

The growth potential for the fire remains “extreme” given the conditions and difficult terrain it is burning in, the incident information website said.

Herald Staff