WeatherWeather Science


A new weather station in the Wet Mountains will aid in fighting wildfires

Beulah weather station
Posted at 4:08 PM, Sep 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-16 18:39:46-04

A new Remote Automatic Weather Station (RAWS) is now online in Beulah, CO, located at the Beulah Fire Protection and Ambulance District building. RAWS stations are specifically installed to assist in air quality monitoring, fire danger, and/or other research applications.

Pueblo county received a federal grant to purchase and install Beulah's RAWS.

This permanent weather station will provide hourly data on air and ground temperature, rain and snow totals, humidity, wind speed and direction, and fuel dryness. The main goal of this weather station will be to provide observations useful for wildfire risk.

Colorado is no stranger to wildfires, with our 24.5 million acres of forest and the rest being grassland. The Wet Mountains, which are located west of Pueblo and east of the Sangre De Cristos have seen their share of wildfires. Most recently, the Junkins fire in 2016 burned 18,761 acres and destroyed 26 structures.

For fire crews, having real-time weather observations close to a fire can help in a plan of attack. The dryness of grass, wind, and humidity are the most valuable variables for wildfire meteorologists and fire crews.

Historical data from established RAWS can also help to determine if an ongoing wildfire started from natural causes, like lightning, versus human-caused.

In addition, this new station will provide even more data for the First Alert5 weather team to use in forecasting and weather observing across southern Colorado. We will implement this new weather station on-air to add better context to current weather in our area.

To view this new station and others across Colorado, you can click here.