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High Temperatures And Dry Lightning Cause Wildfires In Southwest Colorado

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Bryant Olsen
/
Creative Commons
Fire near Yellowstone National Park in 2008

Soaring temperatures, gusty winds and dry lightning have contributed to a number of small wildfires across the region, and a new report says the San Juan Basin emitted the most methane per well in the country in 2014.

Soaring temperatures, gusty winds and dry lightning have contributed to a number of small wildfires across the region. The San Juan National Forest reports that firefighters are actively managing a blaze in a remote area 3 miles southeast of Lone Mesa State Park in Dolores County. It was estimated at 55 acres Tuesday afternoon, most of that the result of burnout operations to contain the fire. The Durango Herald reports that several small blazes started Tuesday in La Plata County. Heat records were set or tied in recent days in Cortez, Durango, Farmington, Aztec, and Bloomfield. Higher-than-normal temperatures and scattered thunderstorms are expected to continue through the weekend.

The San Juan Basin straddling southern Colorado and northern New Mexico emitted the most methane per gas or oil well in the country in 2014. That’s according to a new report by the Center for American Progress, an independent think tank. The report looked at onshore emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas with more than 80 times the warming effect of carbon dioxide. The report also said the San Juan Basin was third in the overall amount of methane released, behind the Anadarko Basin in southeastern Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas; and the Gulf Coast Basin of Louisiana and Texas.

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