I took my kids for a typical Sunday afternoon hike today. Drive up as high as possible but by driving as little as possible. Got out, walked. Indian Peaks Wilderness Area.
Winds were just tearing it up above 10.000 feet. Kids put on their parkas. Must have been gusting over 50. Crossed the bike/ATV trail and looked for some shelter from the wind to cook up hot chocolate and some tea for me. Hey it's a day hike with the kids, we're just out for fun. Set up my little butane stove in the shelter of some thick trees, blocked the wind with our packs and carefully heated some water. While sitting there my son remarked how hard and dry the grass was. Should have been succulent and new. I stuck my fingers in the ground and it was dry in the duff. If I'd started a spark it would have taken off forever.
A little later a lady walked right up on us without seeing us. The wind was so loud. She was looking for a fellow mushroom hunter she was with. No mushrooms, too dry. When I remarked on the danger of fire she said there was one burning above Fort Collins.
On the way home I could see it pushing high up into the sky then streaming out across Kansas and Nebraska. I just read it was 22 square miles. Tankers all used up on all the fires and the aircraft are old and many grounded anyway.
Sure is dry.
New Mexico has a big one that's been going all week. All that beetle kill. Even if they could get permission to log it the wood isn't rated for structural, just ponderosa and lodgepole.
Long summer coming up. Bet a lot of houses went up with this one. The Colorado Front Range is often suburb like in housing density. Winds are down now.
If you're out this way it would be a good time to use that ash tray in the car for it's intended use.
Feel free to comment of add photos. I didn't take any.