Fires bring haze to Aspen, Denver |

Fires bring haze to Aspen, Denver

Associated Press and Aspen Times Staff
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” Smoke from one or more of the various wildfires burning in Colorado, including a new fire outside of Rifle, drifted into Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley Thursday, giving the blue skies a hazy cast by midday.

In addition to fires burning in northwest Colorado, a wildfire was burning west of Rifle on Wednesday. No details are yet available about the Rifle blaze.

On the Front Range, the strong odor of smoke and heavy haze were reported in the northwest metro area of Denver, including the suburbs of Westminster and Longmont, reported.

Those attending Barack Obama’s acceptance speech in Denver on Thursday evening don’t have to worry about rain, but they may smell the smoke, according to the National Weather Service.

Chances of rain Thursday evening are “slim to none, and slim just left town,” meteorologist Carl Burroughs said. Temperatures at Invesco Field at Mile High are expected to be in the 70s for Obama’s speech.

The hazy skies and occasional whiffs of smoke in the Denver area come from wildfires in both northwest Colorado and Idaho, Burroughs said.

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In Colorado, lightning this week caused more than 30 fires some 160 miles from Denver. Most of the fires were less than an acre in size, according to the Bureau of Land Management, but one, burning about 30 miles northwest of Craig, reached 27,000 acres. It was 75 percent contained, and full containment was expected by Thursday.

Another has grown to 500 acres.