DENVER (CBS4) – Record heat and dry conditions on Saturday allowed the Cameron Peak Fire to grow. The flames produced a huge plume of smoke that filtered over the Front Range throughout the day.
While Denver had clear skies Today, our friends in Fort Collins and Greeley were flooded with more wildfire smoke! All from the Cameron Peak fire. Come on Tuesday snow ! #cowx #4wx @ChrisCBS4 @AshtonCBS4 @LaurenCBS4 pic.twitter.com/H6tY3N6T6U
— Dave Aguilera (@DaveCBS4) September 6, 2020
On Sunday morning many in Larimer County woke up to ash and other debris on surfaces including decks, patio tables and vehicles. The debris included burnt pieces of leaves and pine needles. Thick smoke also filled the air.
PHOTO GALLERY: Cameron Peak Fire
The fire exploded in growth from Saturday to Sunday following record-high temperatures along the Front Range. The fire is now more than 34,000 acres. It is 5% contained.
Terrible conditions in NoCo today. Scott Canby near Berthoud took this pic of smoke from the Cameron Peak Fire … backlit by the sun. He said wonder if this what it’s like on Mars? #COwx #4wx #CameronPeakFire #COFire pic.twitter.com/Gb9Sehz4zh
— Chris Spears (@ChrisCBS4) September 6, 2020
“Expect an active fire again today. We have been preparing our firelines and structures for this possible weather event. There are red flag warning today and tomorrow for winds with gusts to 40 MPH out of the Northwest that will push the fire and test our lines,” said fire officials.
An Air Quality Alert has been issued for areas along Poudre River, including Rustic, Poudre Park, Bellevue, La Porte, and Fort Collins starting on Sunday at 9 a.m. until Monday at 9 a.m. More fire activity is expected Sunday and Monday with the hot, dry weather.
“Areas of moderate to heavy smoke have been observed across portions of Larimer County near the Cameron Peak wildfire. Smoke will gradually decrease late Sunday morning and into the afternoon hours as atmospheric mixing increases. The wind at the fire on Sunday will be from the west or northwest, and is expected to be breezy to gusty at times. This will result in periods of smoke downwind for locations to the east or southeast of the fire. By late Sunday evening, smoke will begin to drain into lower lying areas surrounding the fire. This will bring longer duration, heavy smoke through early Sunday morning to locations along Poudre River, including the Fort Collins area. Smoke is also expected to drain northward along the Laramie River to the Wyoming state line,” said the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
There is a little relief in sight as we start the new week. A powerful cold front will bring cold and snow to the area by early Tuesday which will be a huge help to fire fighters.