Another week, another fire. In this case, two new fires here in Colorado. Lying far to our south, one is located in southwest Colorado and the other in southern Colorado. The West Fork Complex in southwest Colorado started earlier this month as two fires caused by lightning strikes. Both fires merged into one, larger fire over the weekend. With hot, dry and windy conditions returning strongly yesterday, the fire complex grew rapidly in size. Then, another fire, also caused by lightning, spread quickly in the Spanish Peak area early, last evening. Flames were reported seen reaching 100 feet in height. Both of these wildfires are burning in large stands of dry timber.
With heavy smoke from both fires, the prevailing winds had sent a significant amount of smoke into our part of the state. The odor of burnt wood could be easily smelled. The smoky haze colored the sunset Wednesday evening.
an hour before sunset
30 minutes before sunset
15 minutes before sunset
the moon through the smoky haze
the smoky haze in the sky to the south
the mountains hidden by the smoky but colorful haze after sunset
Much of the smoke in our area had dissipated before dawn, this morning. If anything, the sunrise was a bit more golden.
The extreme fire conditions are expected to persist over the next week, with hot, dry and windy conditions in the weather forecast over the next seven days.
The Black Forest Fire, which began last week, is nearing full containment. Also, the mandatory evacuation zones have been lifted. Though 509 homes were lost in the fire, the focus is now trained on recovery and rebuilding.