As more than 1,000 fire personnel across the state continue to fight multiple large wildfires, the Colorado Department of Transportation is asking weekend travelers to avoid driving west and, instead, turn their steering wheels north or south.
CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew said Colorado has many great places to see that are not along the I-70 corridor but include the same activities — rafting, hiking, outdoor dining, climbing — that popular destinations off the interstate hold.
“We want to keep folks off I-70 to the west so we want to encourage residents to check out some of the great attractions to the north and south of our state,” Lew said.
The whole interstate has stayed closed from Glenwood Springs to Gypsum since Monday due to the Grizzly Creek Fire. CDOT said they do not yet know when it will reopen.
In addition to the I-70 closure, sections of Colorado Highway 14, west of Fort Collins, have closed due to the Cameron Peak Fire. The highway is closed west of Cameron Pass and Walden for eastbound traffic, as well as at Rustic and County Road 69 for westbound traffic.
CDOT said these closures will remain in place for a while.
"Travelers are already clogging most of the detours around the area," CDOT said in a press release. "That is why CDOT is encouraging people to find some new areas of the state to check out this weekend."