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The Pine Gulch Fire is nearly the size of Colorado Springs

And more interesting facts about Colorado's 2020 fire season
Posted at 5:05 PM, Aug 21, 2020

This information is up to date as of Friday, August 21, 2020

The Pine Gulch Fire, Grizzly Creek Fire, Cameron Peak Fire, and the Williams Fork Fire erupted in late July to mid-August and have dominated the 2020 Colorado wildfire season so far.

Pine Gulch Fire

By far, the Pine Gulch Fire is the largest of the aforementioned wildfires, at 124,934 acres. It is close in size to the largest wildfire ever burned in Colorado, the Hayman fire, that burned 137,760 acres.

Perspective: Colorado Springs is 125,056 acres. The city of Denver is 99,136 acres.

2020 Wildfire Season

The 2020 wildfire season came in hard and fast, having burned at least 185,000 acres statewide so far.

Perspective: The most destructive year in Colorado history was 2002, which saw 926,502 acres burned. In second place is 2018, with 475,803 acres burned.

Fire Personnel

2,684 total people are working to fight the fires in Colorado right now.

Perspective: Right now, fire crews consist of people from at least 35 states, the most being from Colorado. It takes over 8,000 meals a day to feed that number of personnel!

"Firefighters are on a strict dietary regimen with a required number of calories per day appropriately divided into proteins, carbohydrates and fats to support their exertion level. Their meals and refreshments are provided to meet those guidelines, which include three meals a day and snacks, plus plenty of hydration" says Tracy LeClair, PIO of the Pine Gulch Fire.

I-70 Closure

Today marks 11 days since I-70 has been closed through Glenwood Canyon, which is the longest it has ever been closed, according to CDOT.

Perspective: The previous longest closure at Glenwood Canyon was 6 days in February 2016 due to a large rockslide.

Aircraft

Dozens of aircraft are assisting fires in the state including helicopters, single engine airtankers (SEATs), large airtankers, and very large airtankers (VLATs).

Perspective: These planes have extremely large retardant capacities that they drop in a single run. SEATs can hold up to 800 gallons. Large airtankers hold from 2,000 to 4,000 gallons. And VLATs hold a whopping 8,000 gallons. The average 4 person hot tub holds about 200 gallons.