A Colorado wildfire fueled by intense heat and wind in 2013 broke records for the most destructive and on July 5, 2013, it covered the second largest area in Colorado history. The Pine Gulch Fire became the largest wildfire in the state's history, topping the 217 square miles in Grand Junction and dwarfing the 2002 blaze, which is still considered the nation's most intense wildfire. It remains the third-largest fire in Colorado State history, behind only the Great Smoky Mountain Fire and the Hayman Fire, though it is on track to surpass the record for the most devastating fire ever recorded - the 2003 Fort Collins Fire. On July 6, 2012, it became the second time in history and the third in all, when it burned 137,760 acres near Colorado Springs, destroying hundreds of buildings and homes and destroying more than 2,000 acres of land, most of it private property.
By year's end, the Pine Gulch Fire had surpassed the record for the largest wildfire in Colorado State history - the Great Smoky Mountain Fire. On July 6, 2012, the Cameron Peak Fire became the largest wildfire in Colorado history, burning more than 2,000 acres in Grand Junction.
The Hayman Fire, started by a fireplace that was put out, rekindled, destroyed 172 structures and was the most destructive wildfire in Colorado ever. In high winds that spread from Logan, the fire killed hundreds of cattle and destroyed 15 buildings in Grand Junction. The Hay Man fires, which burned more than 2,000 acres in Colorado's history, destroyed 132 homes and 466 outbuildings and were the second-largest insured property loss in Colorado State history.
The Hayman fire, which scorched 137,760 acres near Colorado Springs in 2002, was the state's largest wildfire, killing 14 firefighters. The Pine Gulch Fire became the largest wildfire in Colorado State history, surpassing the Haymen Fire that burned in Colorado Springs in the summer of 2002. Sometimes referred to as the Storm King Mountain Fire, Glenwood Springs, Colorado. In total, 1.5 million acres of land were burned in Colorado and Wyoming, most of it in Grand Junction and Grand Mesa County.
The Hayman Fire was caused by human activity, the Pine Gulch Fire was ignited by lightning, and the Rocky Mountain National Park was driven away by strong winds. The Haymen Fire, a wildfire in Grand Junction, Colorado; the Hay Man Fire in Colorado Springs and Grand Mesa County in 2002, caused by lightning near the Rocky Mountains National Park. In the summer of 2003, a lightning bolt in the Rocky Mountains, passing through Allenspark, Colorado, and of course being allowed to burn, ignited the fire of the pine canyons.
With dry air in Grand Junction and Colorado in general, the risk of fires in the state is high, and with the Colorado National Monument just a few miles from Rocky Mountain National Park, it is also one of the best places to live in Colorado, according to the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Colorado Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Grand Junction has a mild climate to be a city inColorado, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have its share of risk. Grand Mesa County, Grand Valley County and Grand Canyon State Park are all Colorado National Monuments, so it has been ranked as one of the best places to live.
Colorado has had a history of wildfires as part of its ecology, but twentieth-century firefighting measures, together with the accelerating effects of climate change, have made the fires hotter and larger than the ecosystem was used to. An ongoing pine beetle epidemic has led to wildfires in Grand Junction and other parts of Colorado - which have accumulated fuel and damaged people.
In 2018, the Colorado State Forest Service reported data showing that nearly half of the state's population lives within a 1,000-mile radius of an extreme risk area. Most of these are small fires that occur in remote wild areas where there is little danger. About 90 percent of the area is classified as high and extreme risk, and more than half of the area affected by the Pine Gulch fire is at risk, according to the US Geological Survey.
We will be keeping up to date as Cal Fire works to contain the flames, view the wildfire map and receive damage reports. Below is a map of the wildfires currently burning in Colorado, as well as a trail of the wildfire tracker that reports fires in Nevada and surrounding states to coordinate with us.
As the heat rises, flames and smoke can rise directly from the fire and be visible from Grand Junction and surrounding areas. Because of the extreme fire behavior of this wildfire, a column of smoke is now visible in Grand Mesa and the surrounding area. East Fork Fire Department firefighters responded to a blaze at a building on the east side of the Colorado River near the intersection of East Main Street. Fire damage to the upper walls and ceilings of the building and the roof of an office building on the second floor is present.