(CBS4) – With the Grizzly Creek Fire and now the Cameron Peak Fire burning in areas west of Colorado’s Front Range and causing highway closures, transportation officials on Friday strongly suggested that getting up into the mountains this weekend is a bad idea. Normally Denver-area residents enjoy “heading to the hills” on hot August weekends in order to experience cooler weather, but there are numerous traffic problems resulting from the fires and they’re getting worse.

A view of the Grizzly Creek Fire from Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon

A view of the Grizzly Creek Fire from Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon on Thursday. (credit: CBS)

Here’s the brief outline provided by the Colorado Department of Transportation of the current highway closures:

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– (Grizzly Creek Fire) Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon continues to be closed between Mile Point 116 (Glenwood Springs) and MP 140 (Gypsum). The closure is for both directions of traffic with no estimated time of reopening.

– (Cameron Peak Fire) West of Fort Collins, Highway 14 is closed from west of Cameron Pass and Walden (Mile Point 61) for eastbound traffic and at Rustic and County Road 69 (MP 91) for westbound traffic.

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While several detours are in place, travelers “are already clogging most of them,” according to CDOT.

“CDOT is encouraging people to find some new areas of the state to check out this weekend,” they said in a prepared statement Friday morning.

They suggested weekend travelers should “rotate their compasses and look at areas of the state to explore that are north or south instead of west.” They suggested rafting, climbing and biking as possible activities, as well as outdoor dining and brewery visits.

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There’s also the simplest option — staying in the area where you live and staying off the big roads entirely. There’ll be plenty of other weekends …

Jesse Sarles