Smoke from California fires drifts into Craig

Satellite images show haze is coming from near Los Angeles

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It's amazing, but it's true.

That was Norv Larson's reaction Monday as he looked over satellite images detailing the western United States.

Larson, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Grand Junction, said Monday's hazy and overcast conditions in Craig were the result of wildfires burning 923 miles away, near Los Angeles.

Larson added that although there are ongoing fires in southern Colorado and Utah, those are too small to generate the level of smoke that wafted through Northwest Colorado.

"These fires are so intense, they've put so much smoke into the atmosphere right now : these are really extraordinary, and once-in-a-season, or once-in-five-years-type fires," he said.

In another example of how much smoke the fires are generating, Larson said Grand Junction was under the same cloud of smoke as Craig.

"It looks overcast, but you can only pick out a few clouds," he said. "That is mostly smoke."

Larson couldn't say when smoky conditions would leave Craig.

Depending on weather patterns and fire activity, smoke may continue to find its way to Northwest Colorado throughout the next few days, he said.

Lynn Barclay, mitigation/education specialist and fire public information officer for the Bureau of Land Management in Craig, said she received reports by midday that smoke had reached as far as Grand County, on the other side of the Continental Divide.

She added that smoke plumes are not the only connection Craig has to the blaze in California.

The Craig Hotshots, an interagency team of locally based firefighters sponsored by the BLM, has been stationed in the San Bernardino National Forest until Monday, when they were reassigned to another area.

No information was available about the Hotshots' second assignment.

Colo. 13 closed during local fire response

Officials from the BLM, Moffat County Sheriff's Office, Craig Fire/Rescue, county road and bridge and various aircrews responded Monday afternoon to a brush fire north of Craig on Moffat County Road 3.

No information was available about the size of the fire or its exact location, but Barclay said crews were burning grass along a portion of Colorado Highway 13 to form a boundary the fire wouldn't be able to cross.

The highway temporarily was closed while crews worked, Barclay said. The fire burned grass and brush, and no structures or property were threatened as of Monday evening, she added.

Comments

generalsn 5 years, 3 months ago

These "smoke free" laws don't seem to be working. I wonder if some of these fires aren't being started by hot ashes from smokers forced outside into the wind.

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David Moore 5 years, 3 months ago

There are also fires raging in the Vancouver BC region and central Utah as well as the ones in California, the winds bring it all toward us. I have heard of nothing close to home but then again, I don't hear everything so something might be burning in MC to.

Generalsn, the cause of the California fires has yet to be determined, although... I am very surprised that a raging fire has not broken out around here during some of the drier months with all the lit cigarette butts I see flying out of people's windows, skittering into the dry brush on the side of the road spreading hot sparks for yards. Isn't there a law against this? Can it be reported? I just want to bash into the rear of the person flicking that lit butt out onto the side of the road, however, I am not allowed to do that so there has to be some way to nail these careless fools. Any suggestions?

Here is a USA today link that has more on the CA fires:

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/wildfires/2009-08-31-california-wildfires_N.htm

A Reuters link to the one in Vancouver:

http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSTRE56I0LS20090720

And finally a SLC Tribune link to the Mil flats fire in Utah:

http://www.sltrib.com/ci_13235054?source=most_viewed

Hoping wetter weather is coming their way soon.

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GlacierDragon 5 years, 3 months ago

David, you might be interested in this link: http://www.geomac.gov/ It's got an interactive fire map on it that is quite interesting.

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David Moore 5 years, 3 months ago

I love maps to the extent of obsession, very cool GlacierDragon, thanks. According to the main fire map, it looks like the entire Pacific coast is on fire...no wonder you can't see your hand in front of your face out here. The smoke is very thick tonight, can barely see the smokestack lights blinking and the lights from Loudy are obscured, just a big bright glowing mass.

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GlacierDragon 5 years, 3 months ago

Glad you like it. I think it's new? Not sure. I like maps, too, and love all the stuff they've done with google maps lately. You can zoom in on that map and really see how big some of those fires are and how close they are to roads and cities. This smoke is really messing with my asthma. I hope it clears out soon.

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generalsn 5 years, 3 months ago

Why did they quit building cars with ashtrays?

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David Moore 5 years, 3 months ago

Good question... our new Honda did not come with one, or a lighter either. Maybe it's their way of getting people to stop voluntarily killing themselves. Our family does not need one anyway and I don't think putting them in will stop the foolish ones from flicking them all over the roadway.

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lonelyone 5 years, 3 months ago

well I know people who smoke and have ashtrays in their cars and they still throw their butts out the window!

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