(CBS4) – Officials with the Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State Patrol and Gov. Jared Polis are urging people to avoid visiting Colorado’s high country this weekend. That’s because of the extreme wildfire activity and the winter storm that will be rolling in later in the weekend.
“As firefighters work to contain multiple wildfires in Colorado’s high country, particularly in northern Colorado and most recently with evacuations in Grand County and Estes Park, motorists are urged to avoid traveling to the high country through this weekend (10/23-10/25). While colder weather and expected snow will help in firefighting efforts later this weekend, the fire dangers are expected to remain high,” CDOT wrote in an update on codot.org.
Transportation and safety officials said many of their crews are assisting with road closures due to the wildfires, and many employees will be out plowing snow later in the weekend. Having to divert them from those important duties to deal with crashes if there is an overabundance of drivers in the mountains who aren’t properly equipped to deal with the wintry conditions could stretch resources thin.
“Many motorists tend to drive too fast for the conditions during the beginning of a snow season and lack appropriate tires for the snow,” CDOT wrote.
CDOT also urged people who live in the high country to limit driving as much as possible, so the “state can focus resources where they are most needed.”
As much as a foot of snow could fall on mountain passes with Sunday’s storm.
“Staying off the road when you can is a small way we can all our fellow Coloradans during this hard time,” CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew said.