I would be totally shocked to hear you say you haven't noticed the smoky sky around the Denver area this week. Since we've all noticed it, what can we do about it?
Well, short of putting out the fires causing the smoke there is nothing we can do – obviously. The weather pattern will have to change to bring rain or a wind shift, and neither will happen soon enough.
The map above shows all the active large fires, and clearly, the western U.S. is dealing with a lot.
There are 140 fires covering 1.9 million acres (as of Thursday morning). More than 26,000 people are working the fires with more than 200 helicopters and nearly 2,000 engines. That is a lot of resources at the fire sites themselves.
Sadly, the impact of the fires is much more widespread than just at the sources. Smoke can be visible across the US.
The faint gray shades along and above the red line here is smoke:
Locally, three fires are burning in northern areas. You may have heard about the Deep Creek Fire in Routt County.
This particular fire will likely increase the smoke over Denver. We can track the projected smoke plumes with some short-range modeling. See here the forecast smoke plume through midday Friday:
Also, watch for my mouse cursor to hover around the fires in Colorado and watch the intensity of the simulation to increase as fires spread in Routt County.
The good news is that through the weekend a trough will deepen over the western US and that may be just enough to change our windflow to somewhat of a "cleaner" direction, at least for a little while.