As temperatures spiked above 100 degrees across Colorado on Thursday, the extreme fire danger reached critical levels, fueling wildfires from Fort Garland to Grand Lake.

It’s never been hotter in Denver than it was Thursday, the National Weather Service in Boulder reported. The city’s high of 105 degrees tied the record for its hottest day. It’s only been that hot four other times — on June 25 and June 26, 2012; July 20, 2005; and Aug. 8, 1878.

Colorado Springs’ high of 100 degrees broke the record for June 28 — 98 degrees — set in 1990, the National Weather Service in Pueblo reported.

And in Pueblo, temperatures hit 104 degrees but didn’t break the day’s record high of 106.

Red flag warnings were in place across the state for gusty winds, low relative humidity and dry fuels. Warnings also were issued for Friday in most of western Colorado and parts of southern Colorado.

“Rapid rates of fire growth and spread are possible under these conditions,” one warning says.

El Paso County will not be under a red flag warning Friday.

A blaze east of Fort Garland in southern Colorado had grown to 38,400 acres and destroyed some structures, forcing people to evacuate about 350 homes in Forbes Park, a housing development started by multimillionaire Malcolm Forbes in the 1970s.

The fire was at zero containment Thursday.

The Costilla county commissioners declared a disaster late Wednesday night, The Denver Post reported.

Another wildfire forced about 300 homes west of Rocky Mountain National Park to be evacuated. The fire had burned only 5 to 10 acres and hadn’t crossed into the national park or prompted road closures, but one trail was closed.

Elsewhere, fires were being contained and residents were being allowed to go home.

Read More Here...