SPM 09-27-2018: Another Dry Day, but the End of Fire Season is in Sight

Issue Date: Thursday, September 27th, 2018
Issue Time: 08:45 AM MDT


Yesterday was yet another dry day across the state. A handful of isolated storms initiated over the far south-central portions of the state, but these produced minimal precipitation and quickly raced over the border into New Mexico. With no appreciable snow in the high country either, fire remains top of the list of concerns. Since the end of our mid-September heat wave, conditions have been more favorable for firefighters to make ground on some of the large fires in the state. However, several large fires continue to slowly grow and will likely need to be snuffed out by substantial rain or snow. The map below from InciWeb shows current active wildfires with a flame icon and prescribed burns with an orange diamond.

Below is a status list of the nine large wildfires currently identified in Colorado, from north to south:

  • Ryan Fire: 21,085 acres, 35% contained
  • Boone Draw Fire: 8,610 acres, 94% contained
  • Silver Creek Fire: 18,682 acres, 56% contained
  • Cabin Lake Fire: 5,975 acres, 98% contained
  • Sugarloaf Fire: 1,280 acres, 35% contained
  • Cache Creek Fire: 2,703 acres, 55% contained
  • Lake Christine Fire: 12,588 acres, 90% contained
  • Bull Draw Fire: 36,549 acres, 95% contained
  • Horse Fire: 702 acres, 64% contained

More dry weather is in the forecast, but for the time being fire conditions are expected to stay sub-critical. With the potential for substantial rain across the western half of the state next week, the end of the fire season may soon be in sight.

Flooding was not reported on Wednesday. For rainfall estimates in your area, check out our State Precipitation Map below.

Click Here For Map Overview

The map below shows radar-estimated, rainfall gage-adjusted Quantitative Precipitation Estimates (QPE) across Colorado. The map is updated daily during the operational season (May 1 – Sep 30) by 11AM. The following six layers are currently available: 24-hour, 48-hour and 72-hour total precipitation, as well as maximum 1-hour, 2-hour and 6-hour precipitation over the past 24 hour period (to estimate where flash flooding may have occurred). The 24-hour, 48-hour, and 72-hour total precipitation contain bias corrections that are not disaggregated into the hourly estimates, so there will likely be some differences. The accumulation ending time is 7AM of the date shown in the bottom right corner. Also shown optionally are fire burn areas (post 2012), which are updated throughout the season to include new burn areas. The home button in the top left corner resets the map to the original zoom.