What’s the Deal With Colorado’s Smoky Skies This Week?
That haze that's been hanging around the Front Range lately is, unfortunately, wildfire smoke. But, the fires aren't burning in Colorado.
According to the National Weather Service, hazy skies and areas where there's a light concentration of smoke are from wildfires burning in Arizona. CNN reported that there are two large wildfires burning near one another in eastern Arizona. The Telegraph Fire has burned over 76,000 acres as of Wednesday morning, and the Mescal Fire has burned more than 65,000 acres, and each are less than 25 percent contained.
For comparison, Northern Colorado had two large wildfires burning close in proximity to each other in 2020, the Cameron Peak Fire and East Troublesome Fire. Cameron Peak Fire is Colorado's largest wildfire, and it burned for over 110 days. Over 200,000 acres to the west of Fort Collins were scorched. East Troublesome Fire, Colorado's second-largest wildfire, burned at the same time, and destroyed almost 200,000 acres between October and November of 2020.
Downtown Fort Collins, October 2020
You can see a time lapse of what Downtown Fort Collins looked like over Labor Day weekend 2020, here.
Colorado's seventh-largest wildfire also burned near Fort Collins in 2012. The High Park Fire was sparked by lightning, and while it only burned for a month, it scorched over 87,000 acres. Tragically, one person died in the High Park Fire, and over 250 homes were lost, according to 9NEWS.
2021 has been one of Colorado's wettest years on record so far, with more precipitation between January and June in the Front Range region than all of 2020 total. So, hopefully that will help us this wildfire season.