As fires scorched more than 200,000 acres in Colorado, drought conditions deteriorated for part of the state.
Abnormally dry conditions expanded in western Larimer county, while moderate drought returned to northern Routt County, along with smaller portions of Moffat and Jackson counties.
Conditions in the remainder of the state remained stable, with more than one-third of Colorado in extreme over exceptional conditions, the two worst catagories.
Lack of rain and increasing summer temperatures contributed to worsening drought conditions in central and southwest Colorado over the past week.
Severe drought expanded north across northern Fremont and southern Chaffee, Park and Teller counties, while extreme conditions also advanced to cover Custer and Pueblo counties, along with southern Fremont and El Paso counties. Extreme drought also spread in Delta and Mesa counties.
A week after extreme drought expanded in southeast Colorado, conditions have also deteriorated in the northwest.
Jackson, Grand and Summit counties, which had been largely drought-free, shifted to abnormally dry. Moderate drought expanded to cover most of Moffat county and a larger portion of Eagle county. Severe drought expanded further into eastern Garfield county.
Some heavy hitters were invited by Colorado State University to speak at the inaugural Water in the West Symposium in Denver last week, including U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, the prior secretary of agriculture; Tom Vilsack of Iowa; U.S. Sen. Michael Bennett; and Gov. John Hickenlooper.