Fire in southwest Colorado doubles in size, forces evacuations

416 fire

416 fire

The cause of the blaze, which is being called the 416 Fire, which started June 1 in the San Juan National Forest, has not been determined.

Torching and crown runs were reported as the fire crossed the Jones Creek Trail and the Hermosa Creek Trail, but not the Hermosa Creek drainage.

As of Sunday afternoon, Megan Graham, spokeswoman with La Plata County, said the total number of evacuations stands at 2,156, and 373 homes and businesses are under pre-evacuation notice.

So far firefighters have been able to keep it west of Highway 550, and until Friday it was east of Hermosa Creek.

The fire, known as the 416 fire, hadn't damaged any structures, firefighters said in a statement Sunday, although several communities and a resort were evacuated and officials closed a section of a state highway. Residents are advised to use extreme caution with any open flame source in areas where they are permitted.

The Mountain View Fire Protection District, based out of Longmont, sent four members to southern Colorado. No structures had been lost as of Friday morning. No structures were threatened, according to officials.

On Sunday, seven helicopters helped the 813 firefighters battling the fire. "Firefighters will be here as long as it takes to get the job done".

Additional resources are headed to battle the two fires, but on Sunday night, Griffee didn't have details.

Fire officials expect smoke will be heavy and low in the Animas Valley, and visibility will be restricted Monday morning.

Temperatures were in the 80s with extremely low humidity and calmer winds Friday. In April, La Plata County suffered "exceptional drought" conditions, with fuels such as grass, brush and trees in La Plata helping to produce "explosive fire growth and behavior". And the Natty fire, which covered 70 acres near Cañon City in south-central Colorado, had been 70 percent contained.

Firefighters will continue to patrol along US 550 to mop up hot spots and keep the flames west of the highway and away from structures.

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for most of Colorado on Saturday, signifying high fire danger. When moderate to heavy smoke is present, residents should consider limiting physical exertion and time outside, according to San Juan Basin Public Health advisories. Small animals are being accepted at the La Plata County Humane Society, 1111 South Camino del Rio, Durango (970) 259-2847.

Notícias recomendadas

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.