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The haze drifting over the central Colorado Rocky Mountains is coming from wildfires in Utah. Meteorologist Scott Stearns with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction says the smoke is more prominent in northwestern Colorado and the I-70 corridor, Vail area, where air quality was downgraded from good to moderate this morning.

The 2020 Mullen Fire, located in the Medicine Bow National Forest southwest of Centennial, Wyoming, casts an eerie orange haze throughout the region.

Air quality in the southeastern part of the state –¬† the San Juans, and the Umcompahgre and Rio Grande and San Isabel National Forests (including portions of Chaffee County) is still seeing good air quality.

The haze will continue for at least another day, as a high-pressure system circling over the Northwestern United States continues to spin, spewing smoke into Western Colorado all week. A cold front moving in by this weekend is expected to clear the air and drop temperatures all across Colorado.

The smoke is also coming from several large wildfires in Idaho including the Moose Fire in Idaho. At more than 100,000 acres, it grew to become the largest active fire in the United States last week. Other fires burning in Idaho include the 30,000-acre Ross Fork fire, and two wildfires that have grown to 13,000 acres: the Kootenai River Complex and Four Corners fires.

So far this year, due to a more normal monsoon season, Colorado has ben largely spared from large wildfires. But weather patterns can be unpredictable, and a dry fall could raise fire danger going into the fall.