Colorado smoky skies: Arizona wildfire to blame for Monday haze

Monday’s hazy skies aren’t the result of any Colorado wildfires. Instead, the National Weather Service says, smoke drifting in from a new fire burning in Arizona is to blame.

The Pipeline fire, near Flagstaff, already has burned 4,500 acres since it started Sunday morning, officials say. Evacuations are currently underway for those within proximity of the fire.

Bruno Rodriguez, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Boulder, said satellite imagery shows smoke from the Pipeline fire streaming into Colorado on Monday from the southwest.

“All the smoke right now is from the Arizona fire,” he said. “There are a few small fires in southern Colorado right now, but those are hardly emitting any smoke. Everything you’re seeing is from Arizona.”

The smoke concentration is expected to get closer to the metro area Monday afternoon, with air quality likely being affected, Rodriguez said.

Monday morning, the smoke concentration in Colorado was most significant in areas of higher elevation. As that smoke comes closer to lower elevations, more of Colorado, and especially the Front Range, is expected to be impacted, he said.

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