Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Fire burns through trees on the High Park wildfire near Fort Collins, Colo., on Monday, June 11, 2012. The wildfire is burning out of control in northern Colorado, while an unchecked blaze choked a small community in southern New Mexico as authorities in both regions battled fires Monday. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
Smoke from wildfire 60 miles away blankets Denver
Battle raging » In New Mexico, firefighters made progress on a 56-square-mile fire that forced hundreds to evacuate.
First Published Jun 12 2012 01:36 pm • Last Updated Jun 12 2012 01:39 pm

Loveland, Colo. • A northern Colorado wildfire 60 miles away wrapped Denver in a pungent cloud of smoke for several hours Tuesday, complicating the aerial offensive against the spreading mountain blaze and prompting officials to urge children and the elderly to stay indoors.

Downtown Denver was shrouded in an orange glow early Tuesday before a blanket of cold air trapping the fire pollution began to rise. The foothills stretching north to Fort Collins were virtually obscured by smoke, while closer to the 68-square-mile blaze, visibility on some highways was just a mile.

At a glance

Across the West:

California » A wildfire that briefly threatened homes in Kern County is nearing containment.

Colorado » The 68-square-mile High Park Fire is 5 percent contained. As many as 800 firefighters are expected on the lines by Wednesday. Ten air tankers and 14 water dropping helicopters are attacking the blaze.

New Mexico » Nearly 1,000 firefighters and more than 200 National Guardsmen are battling the 56-square-mile Little Bear fire. Containment is 30 percent.

Utah » Two wildfires blackened 2,000 acres in Fishlake National Forest in southern Utah. A third fire believed to have been sparked by target shooting near Centerville, 15 miles north of Salt Lake City, was quickly contained late Monday.

Wyoming » A 4-square-mile blaze at Guernsey State Park is 80 percent contained. Six helicopters and 600 firefighters are deployed. Firefighters contained 95 percent of a 13-square-mile fire in Medicine Bow National Forest and completely contained a 1,700-acre fire in Weston County.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

State health officials urged the elderly, children and those prone to asthma to stay indoors.

"The rule is if you can see or smell smoke, stay inside," Boulder County health specialist Chana Goussetis told the Daily Camera.

Yet many Denverites went about business as usual, bicycling to work and jogging along the many paths through the city.

"How bad could it really get?" Ben Paolillo asked as he sat at a downtown cafe, having coffee with his wife, Julie.

The ground-hugging smoke temporarily grounded the air attack on the High Park Fire, centered some 15 miles northwest of Fort Collins. Some helicopters took to the smoky skies by midday.

"We’re going to get those aircraft up as soon as we can," said incident commander Bill Hahnenberg.

The fire killed a 62-year-old woman inside her mountain cabin and destroyed more than 100 structures. Larimer County authorities allowed some residents evacuated since Saturday to return home — but warned dozens more to be prepared to leave their homes if fire lines approach.

In southern New Mexico, firefighters made progress on a 56-square-mile fire that forced hundreds of residents to evacuate near the mountain town of Ruidoso. Gov. Susana Martinez declared a state of emergency to free funding and firefighting resources. Ruidoso remains on alert for possible evacuation.


story continues below
story continues below

Wildfires in the drought-stricken West have tested federal resources.

U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell announced late Monday the agency was contracting eight heavy air tankers to increase the aging national fleet to 17.

Still, Colo. U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet urged President Barack Obama to sign a bill that would allow the Forest Service to buy as many as seven large air tankers outright. The U.S. House and Senate passed the bill last week.

In Colorado’s Larimer County, authorities and family said Linda Steadman, 62, perished inside her mountain cabin. Her home received two evacuation warnings that weren’t answered, and a firefighter tried to reach the cabin before fire overtook the site, Sheriff Justin Smith said.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.