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Northern Colorado forest fires block out sun, makes history

Having burned over 160 square miles and with single day growth of over 60 square miles on Sept. 7, the Cameron Peak fire enters into the history books as one of the largest Colorado wildfires on record.

Due to the current cold front passing over Northern Colorado, the fire, which ignited on Aug. 13 near Chambers Lake roughly 40 miles west of Fort Collins, has been held at roughly 160 square miles or over 100,000 acres with 4% containment as of Sept. 8 at 6:00 p.m., according to the National Incident Information System, making it the fifth largest fire in Colorado history.

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The smoke plume from the Cameron Peak fire reached over 40,000 feet on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service’s Boulder forecast office, blocking out the sun and casting orange-red light over Fort Collins and surrounding areas on both Sunday and Monday. Photographers from The Collegian captured the event as well as other images of fires across Colorado. 

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  • The smoke plume from the Cameron Peak fire hangs over Fort Collins Sept. 5. On Sept. 7, the Cameron Peak fire surpassed 100,000 acres, making it Colorado’s fifth largest fire in recorded history. (Matt Tackett | The Collegian)

  • Smoke hangs over Fort Collins from the Cameron Peak fire Sept. 7. (Connor McGrath | The Collegian)

  • After weeks of wildfires close to Fort Collins, Horsetooth Reservoir sits in a cloud of smoke Sept. 7. In addition to the Fort Collins region being covered by a blanket of smoke, a layer of ash covered cars and the sidewalks. (Lucy Morantz | The Collegian)

  • Smoke seen from a window in Fort Collins as the Cameron Peak fire continues to burn Sept. 7. (Pratyoosh Kashyap | The Collegian)

  • A thick layer of smoke from the Cameron Peak fire hangs over Fort Collins Sept. 7, blocking out the sun, dropping ash and casting dark light over the town. On Sept. 7, the Cameron Peak fire surpassed 100,000 acres, making it Colorado’s fifth largest fire in recorded history. (Matt Tackett | The Collegian)

  • Smoke from nearby forest fires reduces visibility at Horsetooth Reservoir Aug. 23. (Anna von Pechmann | The Collegian)

    Collegian | ANNA VON PECHMANN
  • Smoke around Canvas Stadium Aug. 23. (Devin Cornelius | The Collegian)

  • Smoke from the Williams Fork fire rises above the hills and in the direction of the wind Aug. 15. (Pratyoosh Kashyap | The Collegian)

  • Smoke hangs over Fort Collins from the Cameron Peak fire Sept. 7. (Connor McGrath | The Collegian)

  • Smoke from nearby forest fires reduces visibility at Horsetooth Reservoir Aug. 23. (Anna von Pechmann | The Collegian)

    Collegian | ANNA VON PECHMANN
  • The smoke plume from the Cameron Peak fire hangs over Fort Collins Sept. 5. On Sept. 7, the Cameron Peak fire surpassed 100,000 acres, making it Colorado’s fifth largest fire in recorded history. (Matt Tackett | The Collegian)

  • A thick layer of smoke from the Cameron Peak fire hangs over Fort Collins Sept. 7, blocking out the sun and casting dark red light over the town. On Sept. 7, the Cameron Peak fire surpassed 100,000 acres, making it Colorado’s fifth largest fire in recorded history. (Matt Tackett | The Collegian)

  • After weeks of wildfires close to Fort Collins, Horsetooth Reservoir sits in a cloud of smoke Sept. 7. In addition to the Fort Collins region being covered by a blanket of smoke, a layer of ash covered cars and the sidewalks. (Lucy Morantz | The Collegian)

  • The smoke plume from the Cameron Peak fire hangs over Fort Collins Sept. 5. On Sept. 7, the Cameron Peak fire surpassed 100,000 acres, making it Colorado’s fifth largest fire in recorded history. (Matt Tackett | The Collegian)

  • Smoke hangs over Fort Collins from the Cameron Peak fire Sept. 7. (Connor McGrath | The Collegian)

  • Smoke from the Williams Fork fire rises above the hills and in the direction of the wind Aug. 15. (Pratyoosh Kashyap | The Collegian)

  • Cars drive in and out of Poudre Canyon, where the Cameron Peak fire was spreading, next to a sign that says “Fire Ban: No campfires, no fireworks, no open flames, no smoking outdoors” Aug. 23. (Anna von Pechmann | The Collegian)

    Collegian | ANNA VON PECHMANN
  • A thick layer of smoke from the Cameron Peak fire hangs over Fort Collins Sept. 7, blocking out the sun and casting dark red light over the town. On Sept. 7, the Cameron Peak fire surpassed 100,000 acres, making it Colorado’s fifth largest fire in recorded history. (Matt Tackett | The Collegian)

  • The smoke plume from the Cameron Peak fire hangs over Fort Collins Sept. 5. On Sept. 7, the Cameron Peak fire surpassed 100,000 acres, making it Colorado’s fifth largest fire in recorded history. (Matt Tackett | The Collegian)

  • The smoke plume from the Cameron Peak fire hangs over Fort Collins Sept. 5. On Sept. 7, the Cameron Peak fire surpassed 100,000 acres, making it Colorado’s fifth largest fire in recorded history. (Matt Tackett | The Collegian)

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The photographers can be reached at photo@collegian.com or on Instagram @csucollegian.

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