Cameron Peak fire is now the largest in Colorado’s history. Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory shows smoke plumes from the Cameron Peak fire in northern Colorado.
In mid-October, dry weather and strong winds significantly fueled the fire. By October 21, it had consumed 206,000 acres in the mountains west and northwest of Fort Collins and Estes Park.
The Cameron Peak fire has now become the largest in Colorado’s history, exceeding a new record set just last month by the Pine Gulch fire, which burned 139,007 acres.
Meanwhile, a couple hours north of Denver, the East Troublesome Fire picked up momentum on Wednesday. The blaze is currently spreading so quickly that it is burning about 6,000 acres per hour. A typical fire in Larimer County is usually over within a few weeks but this fire came in waves over the course of four months, which was exhausting. The fire kept changing due to terrain and wind conditions, leading to the fire threatening every one of our mountain communities. As emergency managers, our job was to anticipate changing conditions and to plan for any impacts from the fire. We ended up utilizing every plan we have created over the last few years to manage this event, including emergency notifications, GIS (geographic information system mapping), evacuation and sheltering, feeding, public information management, resource management and credentialing for re-entry operations. This was the event that you plan for but always hope doesn’t happen.
The image was captured on October 16, 2020 by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory