Big snow seems to have helped the Cameron Peak Fire situation on Colorado's Front Range.
According to the official update on Inciweb, posted at 8:12 AM on September 9, the Cameron Peak fire has not grown in the past 24 hours, still at 102,586 acres after a weekend of rapid growth. This slowing is thanks to big snow that landed in the area estimated at between 6 and a foot.
Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith provided a lengthy Wednesday morning update on the Cameron Peak Fire on Facebook, stating the following:
"I could not have been more amazed by the change. Twenty four hours earlier, visibility in the Upper Poudre was limited because of a tremendous amount of smoke. However, by large Tuesday afternoon it was limited by heavy snow. What a great sight! In a few places, the smell of smoke still lingers, but signs of active burning were minimal. Where I watched extreme torching a day earlier, I only found traces of smoldering. I agree that this fire is far from over, but yesterday marked a game changer."
Prior to the September snowstorm, officials had predicted that only winter snow could fully stop the blaze. On Inciweb, the estimated containment date has been set at October 31, though this could change following this week's big snow. The fire remains at 4 percent containment.
The slowing of the blaze has also helped with air quality in the area, which has fallen from unhealthy levels. No impacts are expected through Thursday, though fire activity is expected to increase as conditions dry.
Sheriff Justin Smith's statement on the fire concluded with more optimism:
"While the fire is not out, I am confident that this pause will provide fire crews the opportunity to focus resources on a few critical areas where the fire has potential to escape and run during a time that the fire will be behaving much less aggressively."
See his full post below: