Critical fire weather returns to central Wyoming this week, including the Casper area, and forecasters are urging the public to be extremely careful with anything that might spark the next wildfire.

A pair of fires was reported Sunday near Red Creek School. Casper Mountain Fire District crews were able to douse the fire, which was apparently caused by lightning as thunderstorms moved through the area, after hiking about two miles and working with limited water for some six hours.

The red flag warning posted early Monday by the National Weather Service in Riverton is in effect from 1 p.m. Monday through 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Critical fire weather results from a combination of high temperatures, low humidities and strong, gusty winds. The warning for this week calls for winds of 15-25 mph gusting up to 35 mph, high temperatures near or exceeding 90 degrees, and humidity as low as 10 percent.

Tuesday will likely see a high temperature around 96 degrees as well as the strongest winds of the three-day warning period.

Everyone in the area should take care with flammable materials and activities that create sparks.

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