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Radioflyer99

Ponchatoula La.

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Posted: 08/24/20 04:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have a trip planned in a couple weeks heading to CO for the fall colors. How bad are the fires and smoke in the Lake City, Leadville and Grand Lake areas.

Thom02099

Loveland,CO

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Posted: 08/24/20 06:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Radioflyer99 wrote:

We have a trip planned in a couple weeks heading to CO for the fall colors. How bad are the fires and smoke in the Lake City, Leadville and Grand Lake areas.


I'm in Loveland and the smoke has been terrible for several days here. Can see/taste/smell it everywhere. Advisories have been posted and last night on the local news/weather segment, they were pointing out that smoke from all of the fires was starting to push and be seen in the midwest area around Chicago.

If you're coming in early to mid-September, you're going to be just a bit early. Colours start to pop toward the latter part of September heading in to October. But with the current drought conditions, that could all change.

Also, at least for the Cameron Peak fire (the one closest to Grand Lake), fire behaviour is difficult to predict since it's so weather dependent. Extreme conditions have been forecast for that fire for at least the next week to 10 days. Fire movement has been toward the south and east. Remote sections of RMNP have been closed. IF the fire were to move into Rocky, it would have a lot of fuel available as there's an abundance of beetle kill stands on that west side of RMNP, the area north of Grand Lake.

Keep an eye on news reports, as fires can change dramatically and rapidly, depending on weather and conditions. One report over the weekend said the Cameron Peak fire would likely not be anywhere near containment until the first big snowfalls of the season, which would be into October/November timeframe.


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Busskipper

Grasonville,Md/Superior, CO

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Posted: 08/24/20 06:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Radioflyer99 wrote:

We have a trip planned in a couple weeks heading to CO for the fall colors. How bad are the fires and smoke in the Lake City, Leadville and Grand Lake areas.


Depends on the fires - and the wind - the fire in Glenwood Canyon has had I-70 closed for over a Week and everyone hopes it will be controlled and out soon - All of Colorado is Dry and in danger - everyone hopes they will get some Rain.

We just left to return home and plan on driving back in a couple weeks for the Aspen turning.

Use the CODOT cameras to help you out - they are located all around the state - https://www.cotrip.org/map.htm#/default?StillCameraId=10829

road conditions updated -

https://www.cotrip.org/travelAlerts.htm#?roadId=

These two links should keep you informed - as it appears I-70 has reopened - so aside from two way traffic it should be fine.

Updates are on the Colorado sites so they should keep you informed as to current conditions.

Enjoy Colorado - the San Juan's appear to have been spared so far this year, the winds tend to flow west to east and the smoke has been bad in the Denver area recently.

Best of Luck,

edit - Thom is a Colorado resident and his reports are Spot On!


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BB_TX

McKinney, Texas

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Posted: 08/24/20 08:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

US Forest Service web site and inciweb are two more sources for fire info.

4runnerguy

Glenwood Springs, CO

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Posted: 08/24/20 08:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow, Busskipper is really on it! I-70 had just reopened 20 minutes before his post. I was still getting my first cup of caffeine ready.

Smoke is bad in Leadville and Grand Lake areas right now. There is a smoky haze down in Lake City, but not as bad. A number of times in the last couple of weeks, I've headed up high to try to get out of the smoke. From up there, I've been able to see where the smoke has been. While the smoke density has thinned a bit around here as they've gotten the fire up Glenwood Canyon a bit more under control, as new fires have gotten going, smoke has spread over much of the state. Yesterday, we were mountain biking on the top of Grand Mesa. Normally we can see the San Juans, Montrose, and Delta. None of those were visible yesterday. In fact looking south, I don't know if we could see much more than a couple of miles.

I would also note that we have seen the beginning of aspens changing. Not a lot, but still some trees are calling it a summer. It may be early due to the drought.

Of course all this can change pretty quickly. There are thunderstorms in the forecast for this week. Unless lightning starts more fires or the winds blow the existing ones into infernos again, the rain should help calm the fires and clear the air. We had a bit of rain several days ago and it was amazingly nice to be able to sleep with the windows open with the campfire smell.


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BarryG20

Castle Rock, Colorado

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Posted: 08/24/20 09:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just got back last night from a week in Creede and Silverton did not make it up to Lake City but feel it would be the same. The first couple days were not bad smoke wise. From Monday on it was significantly worse some days better than others. Wind direction will play a pivotal role in the smoke plume distribution.
As Busskipper mentioned the cdot cameras can be your friend to see real world. While there is no camera in Leadville there is a multitude of them in the area. Grand lake has a camera and a couple others in the vicinity. Unfortunately the Lake City area has few cameras and the ones in the area are not positioned that well to show what you would look for but still worth looking at for sure.

As Tom mentioned a bit early in a couple weeks for color but as he also mentioned tough to say at this point totally weather dependent. I know last week I saw literately a tree or two in full color surrounded by aspen green with no other hint of color in that stand or any other stand of trees for that matter. I did notice on a couple south facing hillsides that some stands of bushes (whatever they may have been way to far away to even begin to know) were dull red or dull yellow. I rode my ATV over 200 miles last week and did not run across any dull red or dull yellow bushes on my rides just a few spots far off in the distance.


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ppine

Northern Nevada

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Posted: 08/24/20 10:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Watch the web sites. Fires tend to reduce in intensity with cooler weather. Stay at higher elevations.

dodge guy

Bartlett IL

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Posted: 08/24/20 11:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not to try and be funny here, but aren’t there going to be a lot less fall colors. Meaning not much to see. I know there are other areas to see and the Rockies are large, but people that live in the area are trying to get away from it along with people showing up. My wife cousin lives on the western slope around Glenwood Springs. They had the fire early on, but are still getting the smoke back by them.

Good luck if you go!


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Busskipper

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Posted: 08/24/20 01:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

4runnerguy wrote:

Wow, Busskipper is really on it! I-70 had just reopened 20 minutes before his post. I was still getting my first cup of caffeine ready.

Smoke is bad in Leadville and Grand Lake areas right now. There is a smoky haze down in Lake City, but not as bad. A number of times in the last couple of weeks, I've headed up high to try to get out of the smoke. From up there, I've been able to see where the smoke has been. While the smoke density has thinned a bit around here as they've gotten the fire up Glenwood Canyon a bit more under control, as new fires have gotten going, smoke has spread over much of the state. Yesterday, we were mountain biking on the top of Grand Mesa. Normally we can see the San Juans, Montrose, and Delta. None of those were visible yesterday. In fact looking south, I don't know if we could see much more than a couple of miles.

I would also note that we have seen the beginning of aspens changing. Not a lot, but still some trees are calling it a summer. It may be early due to the drought.

Of course all this can change pretty quickly. There are thunderstorms in the forecast for this week. Unless lightning starts more fires or the winds blow the existing ones into infernos again, the rain should help calm the fires and clear the air. We had a bit of rain several days ago and it was amazingly nice to be able to sleep with the windows open with the campfire smell.


Ken,

Back in Maryland, the two hour time difference - much easier for me to be/get on line (Think I had finished both cups of coffee) - will leave in less than three weeks to return for the Color, Talk to those trees - would hate to get there too Late for the Big Show.

Hard to get a better report than You are giving on Glenwood Springs, Son was in Grand Mesa when the fires started - needed the cooler weather to SLeep, He really liked it has even looked at property, what a diverse area, so much to see still never enough time.

All who are giving the Local Updates keep them coming as the fires may ultimately determine the final destination for Aspen Viewing.

Thanks to all who have contributed, nothing beats real Eyes reporting.

JAC1982

Colorado

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Posted: 08/24/20 02:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The National Weather Service also has been posting "smoke forecast maps". I follow the one in Boulder on Facebook but they have local offices all over. I've found those to be helpful to know what to expect in the next day or two.

I sure hope by mid-September this air will be clear though.


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