DEL NORTE, Colo. — Red flag conditions are returning to southern Colorado where the state's largest fires are burning.
Thunderstorms are expected to produce lightning and gusty winds but no rain Thursday over the West Fork fire complex as well as the East Peak Fire southwest of Walsenburg.
The 21-square-mile East Peak Fire is 70 percent contained. Crews hope for full containment next week.
Firefighters don't have much control over three wildfires in the 130-square-mile West Fork complex. The most active is the Papoose Fire near Creede. It spread toward Rio Grande Dam Wednesday and firefighters worked through the night to protect homes.
Fire managers say chances of rain will increase this weekend.
A wildfire in Coal Creek Canyon west of Denver prompted authorities to tell several hundred residents to be ready to evacuate.