Underground coal fire in Colorado

An underground coal fire recently discovered near the western Colorado town of Silt is venting smoke and fumes through two holes in the ground. No damage has been reported and the temperature near the surface is not high enough to start a vegetation fire yet, but state reclamation workers began filling the holes with dirt this week.

In 2002 an underground coal seam fire started a fire near Glenwood Springs, Colorado which destroyed some structures about 15 miles east of Silt.

Smoke map, Sept 25

The live web cam showing the Arnica fire in Yellowstone National Park showed a lot of drift smoke north of the fire at 1:20 p.m. MT. But the predicted north-ish wind is supposed to be blowing the smoke away from Mt. Washburn, the location of the camera, so I checked the smoke map.

NOAA

It shows an unusual smoke dispersal pattern today.

Smoke map

Laura asked if the smoke she was seeing in Carson City, NV is from the Big Meadow fire in Yosemite. Carson City is east of Lake Tahoe and south of Reno.

Yes, according to the map below. The smoke from the Big Meadow fire is going straight north to Lake Tahoe, Carson City, and Reno.

It looks like the folks in northern Idaho, Missoula, British Columbia, and Alberta have some air quality issues as well.

August 28, 2009. NOAA map