Map shows smoke from wildfires in the western United States.
Above: Wildfire smoke map, 7 a.m. MDT June 25, 2016. Weatherunderground with fire labels by Wildfire Today.
Several large wildfires in the United States are producing smoke that is being transported for hundreds of miles.
The National Weather service has posted Red Flag Warnings for areas in California and Wyoming.
The red flag warning map was current as of 7:42 a.m. MDT on Saturday. Red Flag Warnings can change throughout the day as the National Weather Service offices around the country update and revise their forecasts and maps. For the most current data visit this NWS site.
The National Weather service has posted Red Flag Warnings for areas in California, Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado.
The maps were current as of 10:40 a.m. MDT on Friday. Red Flag Warnings can change throughout the day as the National Weather Service offices around the country update and revise their forecasts and maps. For the most current data visit this NWS site.
The latest satellite overflight showed much-reduced heat on the Erskine Fire, only detecting heat on the southwest side where there was some westward movement of the fire. This does not mean the rest of the fire is out. The satellite is hundreds of miles away and only finds the larger heat sources. There is no doubt some fire activity in other areas, but this latest data does show that much of the fire is not still spreading.
Highway 178 is now open. However some roads off of Highway 178 remain closed, including Entrada, McCray Rd, Dogwood, Kelso Valley Rd and Kelso Creek Rd.
The incident management team has not updated the size of the fire since Monday when they said it had burned 45,388 acres.
(UPDATED at 7:15 a.m. PDT June 27, 2016)
The latest results from the damage assessment at the Erskine Fire at Lake Isabella, California reveal that at least 250 structures have been destroyed and another 75 were damaged.
The Incident Management Team reports that 45,388 acres have burned, an increase of about 9,000 acres over the figure released on Sunday.
On Sunday an incursion by a privately operated hobby drone in an area where helicopters were assisting with firefighting operations caused fire managers to ground all of the helicopters due to safety concerns. The drone operator was located and detained, and the helicopters were able to resume fire operations after a 30-minute delay.
The fire continued to spread Sunday on the southwest side toward Inspiration Point and has crossed Bright Star Creek.
Air tankers were very busy yesterday working on the south side of the fire.
Above: smoke from the Douglas Fire. Photo by Ryan Cutter.
This gallery of photos of the Douglas Fire southwest of Sundance, Wyoming consists of pictures taken on June 22 and 23, 2016.
As noted in the captions, the photos were taken by Ryan Cutter of Classic Helicopters, and a resident who eventually had to evacuate, Kathy Loveland. The images by Bill Gabbert are identified by a watermark in the bottom-left corner.
The Incident Management Team on the Douglas Fire 10 mile southwest of Sundance, Wyoming reported Thursday evening that the fire grew from 257 acres the day before to 1,400 acres. The evacuation orders have been lifted, but 50 residences are still threatened.
(UPDATED at 9:10 a.m. MDT June 23, 2016)
The Douglas Fire southwest of Sundance, Wyoming has burned approximately 700 to 800 acres, according to an early rough estimate from Incident Commander Dick Terry at 8:25 a.m. MDT on June 23. Mr. Terry had just finished a helicopter recon flight and said the biggest challenge today would be the “nasty winds”. They will have a more accurate size estimate after a GPS flight.
Evacuations ordered yesterday are still in effect for the small number of people that had to leave their homes.
One structure has burned, described by Mr. Terry as not just an outbuilding but a “good shop”.
Approximately 120 personnel and one Wyoming state helicopter are assigned.
I drove past this fire on I-90 Wednesday. It is the Douglas Fire 11 miles southwest of Sundance, Wyoming. It was reported at about 10 p.m. on Tuesday. It is listed at 300 acres, but was very active Wednesday afternoon.
Above: Beaver Creek Fire June 20, 2016. USFS photo by Alison Richards.
(UPDATE at 10:42 p.m. MDT June 22, 2016)
On Wednesday afternoon the Beaver Creek Fire northwest of Walden, Colorado was very active again, almost doubling in size to 7,000 acres. The fire spread further to the east, becoming well established on Independence Mountain.
The evacuation orders implemented on Tuesday are still in place.
The “Blue” Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team with Incident Commander Jay Esperance will assume command of the fire at 6:00 a.m. on Thursday.
(Originally published at 2:48 p.m. MDT June 22, 2016)
In the four days that the Beaver Creek Fire has been burning 20 miles northwest of Walden, Colorado it has grown to 3,800 acres. Most of those acres were accumulated on Tuesday.
A wind shift on Tuesday afternoon drove the fire to the east, pushing it across two main roads and establishing spot fires on BLM-managed Independence Mountain. The majority of the Beaver Creek Fire remains on the Routt National Forest in northwest Jackson County, Colo about 1 mile south of the Wyoming border.
Local fire staff were working late Tuesday with Jackson County and the BLM to evacuate dispersed campers on Independence Mountain.
(Click on the images below to see larger versions.)
The weather on Wednesday and Thursday will be moderate, but will become more problematic on Friday and Saturday with humidities around 20 percent, 10 mph southwest or west winds gusting up to 17 mph, and a chance of thunderstorms.