Colorado wildfires: Blazes continue, haze along Front Range increases

Denver remains hazy on Tuesday due to several fires in Colorado, the Midwest and the West Coast. A growing blaze that sparked Friday in northern Colorado shows the intense fire danger parts of the state and country are currently in. Some of the smoke is from renewed activity in the already 100% contained Pack Creek fire just west of the Colorado border into Utah.

As of Monday, 59 large fires have burned 863,976 acres across the country this year, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

Here’s the latest on some of the fires burning in Colorado:

Morgan Creek fire

Sparking Friday 15 miles north of Steamboat Springs, this fire has burned 3,858 acres. It is 0% contained with an unknown origin. The fire is fueled by heavy dead and down timber.

“Moisture increases from the west on Tuesday and Wednesday as a few disturbances across the north try to break down the ridge of high pressure,” the Incident Information System report read. “This will result in increasing chances and coverage of thunderstorms each afternoon. The better moisture looks to remain south of the fire area. There is the potential for gusty outflow winds and lightning.”

A large area is closed, impacting roads, trails, recreation sites, and a big portion of the Continental Divide Trail. The fire is in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness and began south of Hinman Campground, south of Seedhouse corridor. Forest Road 400 is closed between County Road 64 and where it enters the national forest. Forest Roads 440, 442, and their spur roads are also closed.

Routt County has issued a voluntary pre-evacuation notice for some area residents east of the fire. Several homes are threatened.

There are 135 crew members working the blaze with the help of five helicopters. The cost of the blaze has already exceeded $1 million and officials estimate full containment on Oct. 15.

Muddy Slide fire

Burning 20 miles south of Steamboat Springs, this blaze began June 20 and has been 50% contained. The Routt County fire is burning timber, Subalpine fir, Engelmann spruce, and beetle kill Lodgepole pine. Some of the burn on the southside is grass and sagebrush in the valleys.

NIFC reports that structures and energy infrastructure are threatened, with 18 structures already lost.

There are 254 people working the 4,093-acre fire, which has cost $9.7 million. Four crews, 17 engines and four helicopters are working to hit the estimated goal of containment by the end of July. The cause of the fire is unknown.

Sylvan fire

Burning 15 miles south of Eagle, near Sylvan State Park, the fire stands at 3,792 acres, It began on June 20 and is fueled by timber and brush with minimal behavior as of late. No structures have been lost.

There are 21 people working the fire, which has been 68% contained and has cost $6.9 million. Officials estimate the fire to be contained by Aug. 1. The cause of the fire is lightning.

Sylvan State Park is still closed.

Wildfire map

Click markers for details, use buttons to change what wildfires are shown. Map data is automatically updated by government agencies and could lag real-time events. Incident types are numbered 1-5 — a type 1 incident is a large, complex wildfire affecting people and critical infrastructure, a type 5 incident is a small wildfire with few personnel involved. Find more information about incident types at the bottom of this page.

Source: Read Full Article