Nearly half of the United States’ airborne fire suppression equipment was operating over Colorado on June 25, 2012, CNN reported, as tens of thousands of acres burned. Fires raged in southwestern Colorado, northeastern Colorado, and multiple locations in between. ...
As fires burned, Colorado also coped with extreme heat. The Denver Post reported that Denver endured triple-digit temperatures June 22 through 24, and the National Weather Service forecast temperatures of at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) for June 25 and 26, with temperatures in the upper 90s through June 29.
Colorado’s fires have followed a dry spring. Although the state experienced unusually heavy snow in February, little snow followed in March and April, part of a larger pattern of low snowfall. By June 19, 2012, conditions throughout the state ranged from unusually dry to extreme drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
On June 25, 2012, Tim Mathewson, a fire meteorologist with the Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center, remarked: “Current conditions are comparable to 2002 fire season, which was the worst in Colorado history. Fires haven’t burned as many acres at this point, but the drought conditions and fuel conditions are right up there with the 2002 season, if not worse.”
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