World Colorado is fighting its largest wildfire in history. Other massive blazes are close behind.
Wind-stoked wildfire in Colorado is largest in state history
Wind-stoked wildfire in Colorado is largest in state historyDENVER (Reuters) - Stoked by high winds, a wildfire burning for two months in northern Colorado exploded in size this week to surpass 167,000 acres, making it the largest blaze in state history, officials said on Thursday.
Thenear Rocky Mountain National Park has become the , growing to almost 207,000 acres this week. The fire was 55 percent contained as of Wednesday afternoon.
This is just heartbreaking.— Eugene (@MountianManD)
It was quickly joined this week by theto its southwest. Over a period of 24 hours, the East Troublesome Fire grew six times in size to more than 125,000 acres as of Thursday. The blaze, which is burning at an elevation of and across both sides of the continental divide, forced to close. It’s now the fourth-largest fire in Colorado history.
Colorado is fighting its largest wildfire in history
The previous record-holding fire was contained just seven weeks ago, and new fires continue to erupt.This is just heartbreaking. #loveland #cameronpeak #CameronPeakFire #ColoradoFires #colorado #pray pic.twitter.
The previous record-holder before Cameron Peak was the 137,000-acrenear Grand Junction, Colorado. That fire also ignited this year and was declared 100 percent contained in September. It only held on to its record as Colorado’s largest wildfire for seven weeks. Three of the four largest wildfires in state history have ignited just since July.
Yet another fast-moving wildfire ignited inon Saturday and quickly spread across almost 10,000 acres, forcing at least 3,000 people to evacuate. Known as the , it’s now the largest wildfire on record for Boulder County. Then on Sunday, the started just outside of Boulder.
Beyond the threat from the flames, these various wildfires have sent dangerous, smoky air into cities like Denver and Fort Collins, triggeringoff and on for months.
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Wildlife officials later found the female bear and euthanized the animal, taking her two cubs into their possesion.The man was walking outside his home in the Edwards community to retrieve his dog when the incident occurred, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. It is the seventh bear attack this year in the state, according to the agency.
Together, the recent blazes in Colorado add up to an unusually long, late, and severe wildfire season, and it’s not likely to let up anytime soon. “The current fire season, it’s definitely a crazy one,” said Chad Hoffman, an associate professor of fire science at Colorado State University. “We still have dry, windy conditions pushing these fires.”
Some unique weather conditions this year set the stage for Colorado’s blazes, but the threat from wildfires is growing across the state due to human development and climate change.
What’s fueling Colorado’s fires this year
It’s an increasingly familiar story. Like the epic wildfires this year across, the wildfires in Colorado arose amid a year of extreme heat and dryness.
Heat waves baked the stateand persisted into . The high temperatures increased the evaporation of moisture from vegetation, leaving plants dry and ready to burn. There was also less rainfall. Over the past month, precipitation was of what is typical.
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Gardner, who has been trailing behind his Democratic opponent in recent polls, is among the roughly one dozen Republicans who are at risk of losing their seats next month.The 30-second video consists of a monologue spoken over photos and clips of the Colorado Senator. "People asked us if we'd do an attack ad against Cory Gardner. We were thinking about it and then he wrote the script for us," the voiceover begins.
“By the end of September, nearly 100% of the state was experiencing some level of drought, up from 51% since the beginning of the calendar year,” according to the Colorado Climate Center’s Monthlyreport. The state is on track to have its .
That aridity has left almost every type of vegetation in the state primed to burn, as was evident in the Cameron Peak Fire. “It burned all the way from fir forest, ponderosa pine, mixed conifer. It’s burned through some grasslands and shrublands as well,” Hoffman said. “It’s burned through areas that have previously burned, like during the. It’s burned through . So a really big mix of fuels that this fire has burned through over the last 60 days.”
This afternoon's view of widespread wildfire activity in the Colorado Rockies.
This includes the large hot spot of the— CIRA (@CIRA_CSU) .
It’s also uncommon to see fires this late in the year in Colorado. Typically winter precipitation starts to set in and cap fire seasons in the autumn.
Colorado Fire Map, Update as East Troublesome Blaze Grows to Nearly 200,000 Acres
There are currently seven large active fires in Colorado, which have collectively burned at least 423,133 acres, as of Sunday.A Winter Storm Warning was issued in the area until 7 a.m. local time Monday, with four to eight inches of snow expected and up to 12 inches by the Continental Divide and Jones Pass areas.
This fits within the trend of fire seasons in Colorado getting longer. Wildfires are a natural part of the landscape in the state, as they are in places farther west. Many woodlands have evolved to deal with and benefit from periodic fires.
However, humans have been making fire risks worse. That’s in part due to, which is changing weather patterns and driving some of the .
“Our 2020 wildfire season is showing us that climate change is here and now in Colorado,” said Jennifer Balch, director of the Earth Lab and an associate professor of geography at the University of Colorado Boulder, in an email. “Warming is setting the stage for a lot of burning across an extended fire season.”
In particular, there has been a growth in late-season fires in Colorado. The area burned by October fires over the past decade has tripled compared to the area burned between 1980 and 2000. “We do see fall fire events in Colorado, related to fast, downslope winds. But to see multiple events start this late, in the middle of October, is very rare,” Balch said.
It’s also a function of more people living in high-risk areas. “The growing population in Colorado means we have more people in the woods, which leads potentially to more ignitions,” Hoffman said. The vast majority of wildfires in the United States have human causes, though in Colorado about half of fires in the state are ignited by.
Power cuts and evacuations ordered across California as wildfire threats flare anew
Power cuts and evacuations ordered across California as wildfire threats flare anewLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A fast-burning wildfire triggered evacuation orders for 60,000 Southern California residents on Monday as hundreds of thousands elsewhere across the state endured a second straight day of power shutoffs due to heightened fire risks from high winds.
The growing fire risk is also a consequence of more than a century of suppression of natural wildfires. By putting out blazes, vegetation in the state has accumulated, so during periods of extreme dryness, there is much more fuel to burn than there would be had more fires been allowed to proceed.
There are now efforts to reintroduce fire to the landscape, but vast swaths of the state need fuel reduction treatments, and the window for safely conducting measures like prescribed burns is shrinking as the climate warms.
This video gives a quick look into the types of wind conditions us and other firefighters on Cameron Peak experienced and have been experiencing over the duration of the— COFirePrev&Control (@COStateFire)
“We love our beautiful mountain landscapes to live and to recreate,” Balch said. “But these beautiful landscapes are also flammable, and more flammable with climate change. We need proactive solutions that manage our fuels in places where it matters most for ecosystems and people.”
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Colorado firefighters battling wildfire leave apology note after cutting fence to save home .
Firefighters in Colorado who have been busy battling two of the largest wildfires in state history are being recognized for leaving behind a display of humanity. © FoxNews.com Thousands evacuated as winds fan blazes, destroy large number of homes. Grand County homeowner Daniel Stones posted a handwritten note on Sunday left behind by firefighters who saved his home from the second-largest blaze in state history, the East Troublesome Fire. "If this note finds you we must have done something right," the note read.