Colorado wildfires: What to know Friday, September 18

State
Suppression repair is proceeding on Transfer Trail after the Grizzly Creek Fire. This picture shows how logs, brush and soil are returned to the dozer line, which had been bare mineral soil to be an effective fire break. It looks a little rough now, but this allows the area to better cover by preventing erosion and creating protected areas for seeds to germinate. New plant growth will come this spring. / Photo by Vincent Nielsen via Grizzly Creek Fire Information

Suppression repair is proceeding on Transfer Trail after the Grizzly Creek Fire. This picture shows how logs, brush and soil are returned to the dozer line, which had been bare mineral soil to be an effective fire break. It looks a little rough now, but this allows the area to better cover by preventing erosion and creating protected areas for seeds to germinate. New plant growth will come this spring. / Photo by Vincent Nielsen via Grizzly Creek Fire Information

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Smoke from the West Coast is causing hazy skies in southern Colorado again Friday, and hot spots continue to burn in some fires within our state. Here’s the latest information.

An air quality health advisory is in effect until 9 a.m. Saturday for most of Colorado.

Cameron Peak Fire

The Cameron Peak Fire in the mountains west of Fort Collins is holding steady at 102,596 acres. Containment has increased to 15%.

The fire perimeter continued to remain unchanged Thursday despite the very smoky conditions. Smoke will be settled and visible in the communities around the fire area again Friday. Both fire behavior and firefighting efforts are expected to be nearly identical to Thursday.

A total of 997 people are fighting the fire, which has been burning since August 13. There’s no word yet on the cause.

Middle Fork Fire

The Middle Fork Fire about 10 miles north of Steamboat Springs is at 5,445 acres as of Thursday. No containment has been reported.

The fire has spread west onto the ridge north of South Fork drainage. Helicopters are helping to keep this growth in check.

In Friday’s update, fire officials said forecasted winds out of the west should push the western perimeter of the fire back into areas already burned, limiting the fire’s rate of spread to the west. The area closure has been extended to the west to keep the recreating public out of harm’s way.

With moderate fire behavior, the fire is advancing through heavy fuels, especially when winds, topography, and fuels align. It is burning most actively in the late afternoon hours.

Firefighters said they expect the fire to burn “until a persistent seasonal change of weather arrives.”

A total of 95 people are fighting the fire. Investigators have determined it was caused by lightning.

Grizzly Creek Fire

The Grizzly Creek Fire near Glenwood Springs is holding steady at 32,431 acres, with 91% containment as of Thursday night.

The fire has not grown in about two weeks, although some smokes are showing in both Grizzly and No Name drainages now that the weather is warmer and drier.

A total of 40 people are fighting the fire, which started August 10.

Investigators believe the fire was human-caused.

Williams Fork Fire

The Williams Fork Fire in Grand County is now at 12,280 acres, with 16% containment as of Thursday evening.

Recent cool temperatures and snow have resulted in minimal fire behavior, and have reduced the chance for fire growth. However, as temperatures fluctuate, the public should expect to see smoke from within the fire area as pockets of fuel continue to burn. The fire is expected to burn until sustained wetting rain or snow extinguishes it.

The fire started August 14 and is believed to be human-caused. A total of 82 people are fighting the fire.

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