By Joseph Hall and Elijah Mt. Castle
The team at Earth Observation Group gathered this image of the Cameron Peak Fire in Larimer County, Colorado just outside of Estes Park and about 60 miles from The Payne Institute for Public Policy headquarters in Golden. Our team utilized VIIRS Nightrire technology to not only pinpoint fire hotspots, but accurately calculate average temperatures of the flames within the area. This fire has currently burned 102,596 acres, and is only 4% contained since it started on August 13th. The fire is burning in Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest which includes part of Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado’s largest and most visited park. The Cameron Peak Fire is eerily similar to the High Park Fire which “burned more than 87,000 acres and destroyed 259 homes in Larimer County in 2012.” Colorado received snow on the 7th and 8th, so firefighters were able to have some success fighting the fire and identified that 50 structures had been destroyed, 25 of them being residences. Due to the fire’s proximity to Estes Park, Fort Collins, and Denver, many Colorado residents have observed air quality warnings along with an orange sky and haze. Even with the recent snow, Colorado and the western United States remains extremely dry and at high risk for more fires. EOG will continue to monitor fires around the world, and we urge everyone to obey fire bans, and regional safety mandates so our land can remain beautiful and our homes can stay safe.