The National Weather Service in Cheyenne has issued a Red Flag Warning effective until 8 p.m. today.

Affected areas include the North Laramie Range, Medicine Bow National Forest, Thunder Basin National Grassland, Niobrara County, Lower Elevations of Converse County, Platte County, Goshen County, Central and Eastern Laramie County, and Southwest Carbon County.

Strong winds are expected this afternoon. Those winds combined with low humidity and high temperatures create conditions favorable to the rapid spread of fire. Because of these combined conditions, outdoor fires are not recommended, even in areas where no fire restrictions are in place.

National Weather Service, http://www.weather.gov/cys/

The following is the warning issued by the National Weather Service:

Alert:

...RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT FOR ZONES 301...302...304 AND 310 OF SOUTHEAST WYOMING FROM THIS MORNING THROUGH EARLY THIS EVENING FOR STRONG WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITIES...

.LOW HUMIDITIES WILL COMBINE WITH STRONG WEST TO SOUTHWEST WINDS THIS AFTERNOON PRODUCING CONDITIONS FAVORABLE FOR RAPID FIRE GROWTH.

FREQUENT WIND GUSTS OF 35 TO 50 MPH WILL BE COMMON THIS AFTERNOON OVER HIGHER ELEVATIONS OF SOUTHEAST WYOMING WITH GUSTS OF 25 TO 35 MPH INTO THE PLAINS. THE WINDS WILL DIMINISH AFTER SUNSET.

...RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 9 AM THIS MORNING TO 8 PM MDT THIS EVENING FOR STRONG WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITIES IN FIRE WEATHER ZONES 301...302...304 AND 310...

* WIND...WESTERLY WINDS OF 15 TO 25 MPH SUSTAINED WITH GUSTS OF 30 TO 35 MPH. WIND GUSTS OF 40 TO 50 MPH ARE EXPECTED FOR WESTERN ZONE 301 AND MOST OF ZONE 302.

* HUMIDITY...HUMIDITIES VALUES OF 8 TO 14 PERCENT.

* IMPACTS...FIRES THAT DEVELOP WILL LIKELY SPREAD RAPIDLY. OUTDOOR BURNING IS NOT RECOMMENDED.

Instructions:

A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EITHER OCCURRING NOW...OR WILL SHORTLY. A COMBINATION OF STRONG WINDS...LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY...AND WARM TEMPERATURES MAY LEAD TO EXTREME FIRE BEHAVIOR.

Target Area:

Niobrara County, Lower Elevations of Converse County, Thunder Basin National Grassland, North Laramie Range, Medicine Bow National Forest, Platte County, Goshen County, Central and Eastern Laramie County, Southwest Carbon County.