BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Temperatures below freezing and the potential for rain and snow in the coming days likely won’t put out the wildfires burning across Colorado. A Red Flag Warning is in place until Thursday morning when a cold front will then see temperatures plummet.

CalWood Fire (credit: CBS)

“The temperatures will fall throughout the day from around 50 degrees to probably the 30s by late Thursday afternoon,” said Derek Williams, the CalWood Fire Incident Meteorologist. “Maybe cause some drizzle by sunset tomorrow and tomorrow night into Friday morning we could see some freezing drizzle along the foothills, and potentially even some light snow. That generally is not going to put the fire out.”

The weather should help, but the drought conditions will remain. From grasses and pine needles to large trees, dry fuels will continue to feed the fire.

“The fuels are extremely dry. They’re at record low numbers, they’re still ready to burn and even if we get several inches of snow, for example, the Cameron Peak (Fire) got several inches of snow and is still going,” Williams said.

Around the CalWood Fire, 2,000 residents are still out of their homes and many left when conditions were warmer.

CalWood Fire (credit: CBS)

“People are worried about, ‘my pipes are going to freeze’ and ‘I need to winterize my home. I need to shut my gas off’ and it’s in the middle of a fire. We are cognizant of that, it is one of the things we’re evaluating,” said Division Chief Mike Wagner with the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office.

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Officials are looking for small windows of time where they can let people home to winterize and then get back out to safety.

“We don’t want anyone to suffer any more loss or damage than what’s already happened,” Wagner said.

The forecast beyond this weekend’s storm is too uncertain. Fire officials are concerned dry conditions could continue.

“We’ll be here until (the fire is) complete,” Williams said.

Jeff Todd

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