By Elijah Mt. Castle and Mitch Burcham
The team at Earth Observation Group had gathered this image of two extremely hazardous fires only 250 miles from The Payne Institute for Public Policy headquarters in Golden, Colorado. Our team utilized VIIRS NightFire technology to not only pinpoint fire hotspots but accurately calculate average temperatures of the flames within an area. These fires are occurring along I-70. One in Grizzly Creek near Glenwood Springs, and one in Pine Gulch near Palisade, Colorado. The latter of the two is quickly approaching the top 5 list for most destructive fires in Colorado history, having burned more than 69,000 acres already. The massive efforts to curb the burning in Pine Gulch has given time for the Grizzly Creek fire to expand approach one of Colorado’s most beloved hiking destinations, Hanging Lake. Grizzly Creek is expanding so quickly that it is now the top priory fire in the nation; leaving Colorado burdened with two massively destructive fires blazing at the same time. Massive evacuation orders have been put in place and I-70 has been closed as first responders struggle to control both forest infernos. Extremely dry conditions have made this fire season supremely active and dangerous not only for Colorado but for the entire western United States. Valuable forest is burning, air quality is decreasing, and drought continues. 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. For more information on fires like these follow us on twitter @eogatpayne.