Firefighters in New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas are bracing for a busy day as unseasonably warm temperatures, gusty winds and low humidity are expected to create dangerous wildfire conditions.
The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, says "extremely critical" fire conditions are expected Thursday in eastern New Mexico, western Texas and the Oklahoma Panhandle. The risk area covers 117,000 square miles and includes the cities of Roswell, New Mexico, and Lubbock and Amarillo in Texas.
NBC 5 Meteorologist Brian James says some areas of the Texas Panhandle and eastern New Mexico could have wind gusts between 55 and 65 mph Thursday.
Critical fire conditions are also expected throughout Oklahoma, western Kansas and southeastern Colorado, and forecasters have issued red flag warnings discouraging any outdoor burning.