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Avalanche Conditions Will Become Dangerous With Slow Storm

DENVER (AP) - The spring storm moving slowly across Colorado is expected to dump more than 2 feet of snow in parts of the mountains by the end of Friday.

Depending on how slowly the system moves, the National Weather Service says higher elevations in Larimer and Boulder counties could see up to 3 feet of heavy, wet snow because of upslope winds. Mountains in western Colorado could get up to a foot.

The Front Range is expected to get from 2 to 4 inches of wet snow mixed with rain, and some thunderstorms are also possible on the Eastern Plains.

Crashes on snowy Interstate 70 temporarily closed portions of the highway Thursday.

The snow will give a boost to Colorado's below-average snowpack, but there are reminders that the risk of wildfires is hard to escape.

Crews put out a small wildfire that broke out on the shore of Dillon Reservoir Wednesday evening after some light snowfall earlier in the day. The latest snowfall quickly melted, but firefighters were able to use some patches of older snow to put out the blaze, which is believed to have been started by a campfire.

"I'm amazed that it burned, but it just shows what can happen even at this time of the year," Lake Dillon Fire Deputy Chief Jeff Berino said in a statement.

All the new snow will increase the danger of avalanches.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center said conditions could quickly become dangerous in the northern mountains, as well as in the Sawatch and the Sangre de Cristo mountains.

LINK: Colorado Avalanche Information Center

(© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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