The ‘smoky season’ has arrived to Southern Colorado

Hazy skies from fires in Arizona hang over Southern Colorado
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ThumbFiresCO(KKTV)
Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 12:23 PM MDT|Updated: Jun. 14, 2022 at 4:51 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - No, there’s no “official” smoky season -- but it seems to have become a common theme in the past several summers. This is as many large -- and in some cases, record-breaking -- wildfires have popped up across the Western United States in the last decade. Smoky skies could be seen all across the I-25 corridor as Pikes Peak was shrouded in a cloud of brown Monday morning and into the afternoon. Thankfully, a cold front that rolled in early Tuesday morning should help break up the smoke in our area a bit.

WHERE ARE THESE FIRES?

Here’s a look at the location of the two blazes supplying most of the smoke in our area. The fires are just to the north of Flagstaff, Arizona. The “Pipeline” and “Haywire” fires are rapidly growing as strong southwesterly winds push these blazes northeastward.

Both fires are seeing low containment, and the larger Pipeline Fire reached 5,000 acres Monday (over 3,000 football fields) after wind gusts in excess of 50 mph in the area helped fuel more growth.

WHERE IS THE SMOKE HEADING?

Well, obviously here, but you can see how the trail of smoke extends from the I-25 corridor, down through the San Juans into Durango and parts of northern Arizona and New Mexico. The worst of the smoke was expected to arrive late Monday night in Colorado Springs and Pueblo. The aforementioned cold front will stretch the smoke to the southeast plains by Tuesday afternoon, with some slightly clearer skies around the Pikes Region later on Tuesday.

It looks like the pattern will be a bit more favorable to clear out for all of us by the middle of the week, but sometimes it can be tough to pin down how those fires can behave. It’s something we’ll continue to monitor.

Smoke chances in Southern Colorado tend to follow the major wildfire seasons across the Western U.S., with peak wildfire season occurring from July through October in those areas. Monday’s smoke is likely the beginning of similar views we’ll see over the next few months.

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