DENVER (CBS4) – The weekly drought monitor published Thursday morning showed more bad news when it comes to drought in Colorado. In addition to the entire state being at least “abnormally dry”, 94% of Colorado is now experiencing at least moderate drought. It’s a situation not seen in almost a decade and it could get even worse.

In addition to almost every corner of the state being in a drought, 61% of Colorado now has severe drought including most mountain areas. And 24% of the state has extreme drought as of this week including much of the Western Slope as well as most of the San Juan and Sangre de Cristo mountain ranges.

(source: CBS)

Perhaps the only good news is no part of Colorado has exceptional drought which is the worse drought category. That said, the last time 100% of the state had at least “abnormally dry” conditions was during the devastating summer of 2012 when nearly 1,500 wildfires occurred, including the destructive Waldo Canyon fire near Colorado Springs and the High Park fire west of Fort Collins that destroyed 259 homes.

The drought is undoubtedly contributing to the spread of the Grizzly Creek Fire burning near Glenwood Springs and the Pine Gulch Fire near Grand Junction. Both areas are under extreme drought.

A smoky sunrise in Louisville, Colorado, on Thursday morning

A smoky sunrise in Louisville, Colorado, on Thursday morning (credit: CBS)

Because of the fire danger, another Red Flag Warning was issued for Thursday from 11am until 8pm for all areas west of Vail Pass as well as the Rocky Mountain National Park region.

(source: CBS)

It will be hot and dry statewide on Thursday and Denver could tie a record high for the second time this week. The record for Thursday (August 13) is 99 degrees set in 2007.

(source: CBS)

Overall next week does not look as hot and possibly not as dry. But what we really need — widespread soaking rain — is not in the forecast for the foreseeable future.

Meteorologist Ashton Altieri

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