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About Colorado’s Cameron Peak fire

Visitors watch Cameron Peak fire from Trail Ridge Road before the road through Rocky Mountain National Park was closed. (Eli Pace / epace@skyhinews.com)

The national media are focused on the California wildfires, and rightly so. They far surpass Colorado’s fires in size and threat to life and property.

But here in Colorado, along the Front Range, our eyes are on the Cameron Peak fire raging just north of Rocky Mountain National Park.

For those following the fire and related evacuations, I recommend this map at NOCOAlert.org:

On the map, the dark gray is the burn scar / active fire with its daily progression. (The fire started near that lake in the west part of the burn and is believed to be human-caused.) Red is mandatory evacuation, yellow is voluntary evacuation, and the blue outline is Rocky Mountain National Park. The map is updated every few hours.

When the wind is from the north or northwest, smoke chokes downtown Denver and ash falls from the sky. The smell of wood smoke hangs in the air. I can’t imagine conditions farther north in Longmont, Fort Collins, or Greeley when the wind is mostly from the west.

Snow (yes, snow) last night has temporarily slowed the fire’s advance.

The fire is burning in a remote national forest/wilderness with little loss of property so far and no loss of life. My biggest concern, after life and property, is the spread into the national park. My national park. Your national park. If you’ve never visited RMNP, you certainly should. And if you have, you understand my concern. The park is full of memories for everyone who has ever been there, and if the fire makes a big run to the south, those memories could go up in flames.

For the latest details on the fire, check The Coloradoan and other northern Colorado news outlets as well as Facebook.

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“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering 'it will be happier.'” ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson

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