A grassfire is burning in Colorado Springs in the area of Interquest Parkway and Interstate 25.

The fire, driven by strong winds, is described as heavy, with a thick column of smoke, according to the Colorado Springs Fire Department. People are asked to avoid the area so firefighters can respond quickly and unimpeded.

Colorado Springs, along with widespread areas of northern Colorado including Denver, is under a red flag warning for fire concerns until 9 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. Winds are expected to gust up to 70 mph in some areas this afternoon and the relative humidity is at about 5%.

At about 1 p.m. in Colorado Springs, the temperature was 81 degrees with a wind gust of up to 46 mph, according to the weather service.

“Conditions will be favorable for extreme rates of fire growth and spread,” the weather service warns.

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