Hundreds of Flights Into Denver Delayed Due to Wildfire Smoke From Pacific Northwest

More than 300 flights into Denver were delayed Monday, mostly due to visibility issues, airport officials said. Smoke from several wildfires in the Pacific Northwest moved through Colorado, creating hazy skies, according to the National Weather Service.

The Federal Aviation Administration implemented a traffic management program Monday morning due to haze and smoke, Alex Renteria, a spokeswoman for Denver International Airport, told Newsweek.

Flights were being spaced out more than usual for better visibility, according to Renteria.

Eight flights had been cancelled and more than 300 were delayed as of 4 p.m. EST, she said. Whether more flights would be delayed throughout the rest of the day depended on weather and wind patterns.

Denver International Airport
More than 300 flights into Denver International Airport were delayed Monday due to wildfire smoke from the Pacific Northwest.

“It’s tough to know,” Renteria said, noting the traffic management program had gone out of effect by 4 p.m. “They should be coming in and out fairly normally.”

Of the delayed flights, 117 were Southwest Airlines, 84 were SkyWest Airlines, and 47 were United Airlines, according to FlightAware.

Other airlines including Frontier, Air Canada, Delta, JetBlue, Jazz Aviation, CommutAir, American Airlines, and Allegiant Air also had flights that were delayed.

The delayed flights originated from across the country, according to Renteria.

Eight flights from George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston had been delayed, the highest number from any airport, according FlightAware.

Renteria urged people to always check their flight status with their airline before heading to the airport.

An e-mail to the FAA asking for comment was not immediately returned.

Wildfires in the Pacific Northwest are continuing to grow. The Bootleg Fire north of Klamath Falls, Oregon, remains the largest active fire in the U.S. and has burned about 475 square miles, an area larger than Los Angeles. The fire has destroyed 67 homes and 100 other buildings.

About 2,000 people have been displaced by the Bootleg Fire and others as more than 1,700 firefighters tackle the blazes.

The wildfires from the past few years have had a detrimental effect on Oregon’s air quality. A report by the state’s Department of Environmental Quality revealed an uptick in annual days with poor air quality.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee issued an emergency drought declaration July 14, saying many parts of the state were under extreme drought conditions.

“Wildfires are raging in Central & Eastern WA,” he said in a tweet. “Our state could be facing the worst wildfire season to date and the impact on people, wildlife and property could be devastating.”

Published at Mon, 19 Jul 2021 22:05:37 +0000

This post originally posted here

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