NewsCovering Colorado

Actions

Pine Gulch Fire now 4th largest in our state's history

Current active Colorado wildfires -- August 17, 2020
Largest Colorado Wildfires
Posted at 7:49 PM, Aug 17, 2020

After a relatively slow start to the summer's peak wildfire season, things have really taken a turn for the worse the past couple of weeks.

Current Colorado wildfires

There are currently four major wildfires burning in Colorado, which combined have scorched more than 120,000 acres.

Current active Colorado wildfires -- August 17, 2020
Current active Colorado wildfires -- August 17, 2020

The largest is the Pine Gulch Fire, which is burning 18 miles north of Grand Junction. This fire has burned more than 86,000 acres, and is only 7% contained. It was sparked by lightning back on July 31st.

At 25,007 acres, the Grizzly Creek Fire is the second biggest wildfire currently burning in the state. This fire is responsible for shutting down a stretch of I-70 between Glenwood Springs and Gypsum. There are currently no containment numbers with this fire.

The Cameron Peak Fire has grown to 13,305 since breaking out on August 13th. There are currently no containment numbers with this fire.

Lastly, we have the Williams Fork Fire, which is believed to be human caused. This fire has scorched more than 6,300 acres, and is 0% contained.

Largest wildfires in Colorado's history

Taking a closer look at the top-8 wildfires by size in our state's history, it's easy to find the Pine Gulch Fire high up on that list.

Largest Colorado Wildfires
Current list of Colorado's largest wildfires

The largest fire in our state's history is the Hayman Fire, which burned nearly 138,000 acres in 2002. The fire was human caused, started by arson.

The Spring Creek of 2018 comes in second. It burned nearly 110,000 acres of land in Southern Colorado. This fire was also human caused, and was started by someone trying to prepare food at a campfire.

Currently third we have the High Park Fire, which burned in 2012, the same year as the Waldo Canyon Fire.

The other remaining wildfires all happened within the past 18 years. Many of the fires on this list were started by lightning.

Air Quality Alert until 4 pm Tuesday

Locally, areas of thick smoke and haze have been the big weather story, especially in Teller County.

A new Air Quality Alert has been issued for both Teller and El Paso counties, and remains in effect in these areas until at least 4 pm Tuesday.