Windy weather raises fire concerns in Southern Plains

Winds could gust up to 60 mph across parts of the region Friday.

Windy weather across the Southern Plains on Friday has led to an increased risk of fast-spreading fires.

A strong cold front is traversing the region and will bring a big change in temperatures. Winds ahead and behind the front will be strong, holding steady at between 35 and 45 mph closer to the front with gusts up to 60 mph. Outside the area nearest the front, winds are forecast to range between 20 and 30 mph, with gusts up to 50 mph possible.

High wind warnings have been issued in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Forecasters said wind gusts of up to 60 mph are possible in this area.

Wind advisories have been issued from Kansas down to South Texas. Gusts of up to 50 mph are possible in this area.

The gusty winds combined with very little moisture associated with the front have led to concerns over wildfires that will spread quickly if they start. The Storm Prediction Center has outlined an area in southwestern Texas for critical fire risk. An elevated risk has been outlined for much of western Texas and eastern New Mexico.

Fire weather warnings are up in New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Forecasters said outdoor burning is discouraged.