The U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center reports that numerous wildfires in Utah and the Pacific Northwest have produced significant smoke that is drifting into portions of western Colorado. There are no large wildfires in western Colorado at this time. The jet stream pushing smoke into western Colorado is expected to move east in the next few days, and hazy skies should clear.
Over the past 10 days, Durango Interagency Fire Dispatch Center has mobilized firefighting response to 68 wildfires on federal lands across southwestern Colorado. Two dozen of those fires occurred just over the past weekend; all but one of which were determined to be caused by lightning. The largest was the KV Fire near the Piedra River, which was contained at 10 acres. The rest were either contained at single trees or at less than one acre.
Federal firefighting resources on hand include a team of smokejumpers from Idaho, the San Juan and Pike Hotshots, and local San Juan National Forest crews. Responders also include local firefighting agencies, as well as helicopters from the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and Mesa Verde National Park. A Colorado state single-engine air tanker is working out of the tanker base at La Plata Field.
"A lot of these smoke reports are coming from the public, which is very helpful," said Justin Moore, Assistant Interagency Fire Dispatch Center Manager.
To report a fire on federal lands, please call the Interagency Fire Dispatch Center at 385-1324. The Center is open 24-7 during fire season.