LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – The Cameron Peak Fire, which exploded in size over the weekend, created a huge plume of smoke Monday that was being blown through Fort Collins, down to the Denver metro area, and out east across the state. It caused hazy skies and created unhealthy air conditions.
Much of the area will be affected by smoke and ash from the Cameron Peak fire until the plume is pushed away by a strong cold front this evening. With the front, most of the plains will see a period of strong gusty winds with blowing dust, ash and smoke. #COwx pic.twitter.com/ub7SmPzsyi
— NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) September 7, 2020
“Westerly winds today will push smoke through the Poudre Canyon, Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, and even further east to Fort Morgan,” officials said Monday. “Expect periods of USG-Unhealthy air quality for these areas.”
The smoke is keeping the temps in Fort Collins and Greeley on in the 60s while everyone around them are 80 or better, Meteorologist Chris Spears reported.
“The smoke is so thick it is reflecting away most of the sun’s energy,” Spears said.
PHOTO GALLERY: Cameron Peak Fire
The National Weather Service warned that most of the plains will see blowing ash and dust on Monday evening, when a strong cold front is expected to move through.
— Chris Spears (@ChrisCBS4) September 7, 2020
Over the weekend, dozens of residents reported thick, heavy smoke across northern Colorado — as well as ash falling onto their property.
Video taken Sunday shows the smoke plume from above.
On Saturday, the smoke plume reached as high as 35,000 feet, according to the National Weather Service.
The fire exploded in size over the weekend — from 24,000 acres on Friday to 59,051 acres Sunday night. It grew exponentially again on Monday to 89,312 acres, the fourth largest fire in Colorado history. It is just 4% contained. It is burning 25 miles east of Walden and 15 miles southwest of Red Feather Lakes.