Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Very Dark, SMOKEY Day

 Took this right about High Noon:


We're talking gettin' close to midnight in a coal bin at noon here. There's kind of a hole in the smoke, and you can see one lone white cloud trying to shine through:

Looking to the North shows the edge of the plume, with blue sky behind it:

This is a screenshot of the local NWS weather radar in Cheyenne from a couple of hours later. The big green and blue streak across the map is the radar return from the smoke plume. That shade of green normally corresponds to "It's Raining", but it's not rain. It's pretty dense smoke to give a return that strong. It was stronger earlier in the day, but I didn't think to record it.

There's a frost warning for tonight, but no rain forecast for the next week.

The latest incident map shows the fire to now be about 14 miles from here. The new "finger" sticking out from Signal Mountain headed East towards the Horsetooth Reservoir is new in the last 24 hours, explaining why the smoke has gotten so heavy and the air so rancid here. We kept The Little Guy indoors all day, and even Pebbles didn't care to go out and walk the backyard, it was that bad.

If it doubles again like that in the next 24 hours, it will be right on top of the reservoir, and headed for some very exclusive homes.


  1. That has got to be the most hopeless feeling in the world. A wall of fire and smoke approaching with not a sign of soaking rains.

    Wishing you luck is woefully inadequate.

    1. Thanks, SiG. I'm sure it's a similar feeling to what you have with a hurricane bearing down on you.

      It got bigger during the night, and has now surpassed 165,000 acres, making it the largest wildfire in Colorado history.

      We're safe here as there's no way it could jump or burn around the reservoir, but it's very tense for our in-laws who live up in the canyons. They lost almost everything in the High Park fire in 2012. Thankfully the main homestead was only lightly singed.

  2. There was so much condensation nuclei in the atmosphere last night we got a smattering of rain from what little moisture was present. Everywhere you look are 1/8" burnt pine needle stubs along with ash. Highway 34 up the Big Thompson is closed.

    One faint hope is the Green Deal Climate Change Nazi foothill dwellers might wake up and embrace the forest management practices that worked well into the 1960's. We had fires, but not like these.

    1. The smoke/ash plume on the weather radar looked like it went right over your place, WSF. We just had some ash, but nothing like you got, which is what we got a few weeks ago. Half-burnt pine needles laying on the cars really got my attention, and if you stood outside you could see the ash coming down like very light snow.

      "I Remember" when I was a little kid watching TV shows about how they managed the forests. Cutting and removing dead trees was the biggest part, IIRC, and it still is.

      And I had a favorite book on the BookMobile that was all about the Smoke Jumpers from Montana!

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you, my friend.

      We're OK, but we're praying for the firefighters. They've been fighting this fire for two months now.


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