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The Mountain West News Bureau is a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Spring Creek, Dollar Ridge Fires Burn Strong In Slightly Above Average Fire Season

Smoke plumes from wildfires in front of clouds.
With permission, Spring Creek Fire Facebook
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The Spring Creek Fire in southern Colorado.

So far around 60 wildfires are burning on 700,000 acres of land nationwide. Here’s a look at the 2018 fire season in our region and the forecast for the summer.

The biggest fires burning in the Mountain West states are the Spring Creek fire in Colorado and the Dollar Ridge fire in Utah. Neither of those fires are contained yet.

 

Jennifer Jones is a spokesperson with the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise.

 

“Most of our active fires are occurring right now in the Rocky Mountain area which includes Colorado as well as the Great Basin area which includes Utah, Nevada and Idaho,” Jones said.

 

image of the affected area in southern colorado.
Credit Joseph Elfelt
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Map of the Spring Creek fire in southern Colorado.

This fire season is slightly above average for the number of acres burned. Jones said as summer goes on the monsoon season will cause fires to taper off in the Southwest states, and they’ll pick up in northern states like Montana.  

 

“We’re just getting into peak fire activity time for the rest of the West,” she said.

 

With warm temperatures, windy conditions and potential for lightning, there’s a chance of more fires in the coming days. Long term, the forecast shows above average potential for fires now through September.

 

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, Yellowstone Public Radio in Montana, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.

 

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