Two wildfires burning in the region, as well as smoke from additional fires in the western United States, are to blame for hazy conditions in much of Delta County.
Lightning sparked a fire that's burning in a remote area of the Gunnison Gorge Wilderness. The Buttermilk Fire is confined to BLM-administered lands primarily in Montrose County; no structures are threatened and no evacuations are in place.
The fire was initially detected July 23 about 15 miles northeast of Montrose. As of July 30, the fire had burned 692 acres of pinyon/juniper vegetation.
According to the BLM Montrose Fire Unit, 61 crew members are fortifying control lines with ground and air support. Many are staging out of Crawford State Park.
Crews made significant progress building control features in Red Canyon Sunday. Most of the fire growth stemmed from a back burn firefighters initiated in the evening.
A Type 1 helicopter is focusing on suppressing fire activity in a small portion of sagebrush on the north side of the fire. Firefighters will complete control features in the Red Canyon area. Crews will evaluate building a control feature along a road to the south of the fire. At this time, no structures are immediately threatened and no evacuations are in place.
The C77 Road remains closed for public and firefighter safety so crews can stage resources.
Smoke from that blaze is visible from various locations in Delta County. Smoke can also be seen on Uncompahgre Plateau, where the lightning-caused Bull Draw Fire has burned about 300 acres 12 miles northwest of Nucla.
Updates can be found on the BLM Montrose Fire Unit's Facebook page.