JEFF SCHMALTZ, MODIS RAPID RESPONSE TEAM, NASA
Smoke from a fire on Bear Mountain clouded the nearby National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder for the past 2 days (June 27 and 28), potentially damaging computer ventilation systems and causing an evacuation.
More than 20 fires rage across Colorado as a warm winter with little snow gave way to a hot summer, with temperatures already topping 100 degrees. NCAR scientist Greg Holland told ScienceInsider he expects more wildfires in Colorado’s future as the climate there gets warmer and drier.
The ironic misfortune has resulted in pre-evacuation orders for residential areas surrounding the campus , which include the homes of many NCAR scientists. "We're not used to this—we don't know what's going to happen to our house, which is right down the street from [the lab],” oceanographer Enrique Curchitser told ScienceInsider. “Also we don't know about the air quality issue, and we're concerned about our kids."