Last weekend's snow storm brought no relief to drought conditions that have rapidly expanded across most of Colorado since early December, and severe drought continued to increase in the southern part of the state.
Though it may be the middle of winter, southern Colorado is facing a second day of fire warnings Friday.
The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning that is set to take effect at 11:00 a.m. and continue through 5:00 p.m. for the southeast quarter of the state. All of Kiowa, Crowley, Otero, Bent, Prowers and Baca counties will be covered, along with large portions of Las Animas, Huerfano, Pueblo and El Paso counties. Fire warnings will also be in effect for southwest Kansas, northwest Oklahoma and a small portion of Texas.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has ordered flags across the state lowered to half-staff in honor of Adams County Deputy Heath Gumm, who died Wednesday night after being shot by while responding to a disturbance call.
Portions of southeast and south central Colorado will be at an elevated risk for rapidly spreading wildfires Thursday.
The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning, set to start at 9:00 a.m., for Prowers, Baca, Las Animas, Huerfano, Custer and Fremont counties. Portions of Costilla, Alamosa, Saguache, and El Paso counties are also impacted. The warning is expected to continue until 5:00 p.m.
The suspect in the murder of a Bent County woman has been captured in Peoria, Illinois, after a nationwide bulletin was issued for his arrest.
While drought conditions were largely unchanged in Colorado after six weeks of rapid deterioration, severe drought expanded into southeast Colorado.
[Updated to reflect the closures of Interstate 70 and US Highway 36, along with watch and warning updates.] A winter storm stretching from Colorado to the Great Lakes is bringing snow, wind and colder temperatures across the area.
Colorado law enforcement agencies will be boosting DUI enforcement for the end of January with increased officers on duty and saturation patrols starting Friday. For 10 days, 119 law enforcement agencies statewide will dedicate additional resources to apprehending drivers who get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol, cannabis or other drugs.