Several regional fires contributing to GarCo smoke |

Several regional fires contributing to GarCo smoke

Smoke blankets Mt. Sopris and the surrounding peaks early Tuesday morning.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Residents started smelling smoke in the area Tuesday morning.

National Weather Service meteorologist Dennis Phillips said the source is several fires in several states.

“It’s coming from a variety of sources. There’s pretty much fires everywhere in Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado. A lot of the high-level smoke is coming from the bigger fires in Arizona. And we have the East Canyon Fire, which is growing pretty good down there in Mancos as well,” he said.

Weather patterns are pushing the smoke our way.

“We have a trough out west, so we’re in this deep southwesterly flow, so pretty much anything to our southwest is heading up this way. As long as these fires keep going, we’re going to get it,” he said.

There may be relief in sight, though not until the weekend.

“I think the pattern towards the weekend … the upper-level flow starts to go from west to northwest, so that should bring some relief as those winds shift,” Phillips said.

The smoky smell picked up Tuesday along with the heat and the wind.

“What I’m guessing what most likely happened is as it starts to warm up during the day you start to get convection — kind of like a pot boiling and the circulation’s moving up and down — so that smoke that was just up above gets mixed down to the surface just like winds do every day,” he said.

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