Colorado wildfires: What to know Wednesday, September 23

State
Interior pockets of green continue to burn on the Williams Fork Fire this week. This photo shows Keyser Ridge on Tuesday, September 22. / Photo courtesy Williams Fork Fire Info

Interior pockets of green continue to burn on the Williams Fork Fire this week. This photo shows Keyser Ridge on Tuesday, September 22. / Photo courtesy Williams Fork Fire Info

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — An Air Quality Alert has been issued for the northern Front Range as smoke from Colorado and Wyoming wildfires is expected to increase Wednesday.

The alert is in effect until 4 p.m. Wednesday for Douglas, Jefferson, Denver, western Arapahoe, western Adams, Broomfield, Boulder, Larimer, and Weld counties.

Wildfire smoke from the Middle Fork, Mullen, and Cameron Peak wildfires is expected to increase across northern parts of the Front Range region early Wednesday. Here’s the latest on those fires and others burning across the state.

Cameron Peak Fire

The Cameron Peak Fire in the mountains west of Fort Collins is at 104,658 acres, with 17% containment as of Wednesday morning.

According to Wednesday morning’s update, firefighters are making progress despite multiple challenges. Additional containment was added to the perimeter on the southeast corner near Buckhorn.

Elevated fire weather conditions this week continue to present hazardous conditions because of potential outflow winds in the afternoon.

A total of 835 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 6,187 acres as of Tuesday morning. No containment has been reported.

Firefighters’ objective is to fully contain the Middle Fork Fire, while keeping public and firefighter safety as the highest priority. The fire’s location, heavy fuels, and hazardous conditions limit options for direct attack.

The onset of fall, with shorter days and cooler temperatures, and recent higher humidity tend to calm fire behavior. However, gusty winds can cause flare-ups and toss burning embers into unburned fuels. Crews are alert for changes, keeping helicopters ready for action when weather allows them to fly. 

A total of 96 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 Monday night.

A total of 18 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 at 12,320 acres, with 16% containment as of Tuesday afternoon.

The fire started August 14 and is believed to be human-caused. A total of 52 people are fighting the fire.

Mullen Fire

A fire burning just across the border in Wyoming may also affect air quality in Colorado. The Mullen Fire is burning in the Medicine Bow National Forest, southwest of Centennial, Wyoming. The fire has burned 14,653 acres, with 2% containment as of Tuesday evening.

A total of 185 people are fighting the Mullen Fire, which was first reported September 17. There’s no word yet on the cause of the fire.

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