Fire Danger for Travellers

Drought MonitorAs temperatures rise to record levels and water tables drop to record lows in the Western United States, adventurers and tourists alike must factor potential fire danger into their travel plans. The cozy campfire and smores you might have been imagining for your backpacking trip may be banned in the area you planned to explore. The backcountry drive you planned on taking might be shut down because of fires in the area. For tourists who plan to stick to the city areas but who have asthma, the smoke settling from nearby fires should be a consideration as well.

Active FiresCurrently in the United States there are 23 active fires, located primarily in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and the remote wilderness of Alaska. Utah and California boast 1 fire each. The largest of these is the West Fork Complex fire near South Fork, Colorado, having grown in recent days to 88,231 acres. The West Fork Complex fire now claims the title of 2nd largest fire in Colorado history, surpassed only by the Hayman fire of 2002 at 137,760 acres burnt. Recent weather conditions have caused the smoke from the West Fork Complex fire to spread all over the four corners region, leaving usually pristine tourist towns such as Durango and Pagosa Springs covered in a smoky haze and smelling of campfires.

While making your summer travel plans, keep an eye on the federal fire activity site to ensure the best wilderness experience with the least danger. Flights and roadways can be effected. Click on the Map image above for a direct link to the site.

Record Breaking Heat – Weather Channel Video

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