Dry, Windy Weather Stokes Colorado Wildfire, But So Far No Homes Damaged
11 June, 2018, 17:55
Firefighters will continue to patrol along USA 550 to mop up hot spots and keep the flames west of the highway and away from structures.
The week-old fire has blackened almost 8 square miles (20.7 square kilometers) about 10 miles (16 kilometers) north of Durango and is encroaching on the town of Hermosa, where residents of almost 500 homes were told to leave Thursday. So far it covers 16,766 acres of the San Juan National Forest, the fire management team said, but hasn't reached residential areas. "The structure group will continue assessing and preparing structures in the unlikely event of direct impingement from the fire". Residents are advised to use extreme caution with any open flame source in areas where they are permitted.
This Saturday, June 9, 2018 photo shows the results of a previous back burn to keep the the wildfire from advancing towards homes along County Road 201 near Hermosa, Colo.
Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. a new fire broke out northwest of the 416 Fire near mile marker 34 on HWY 145.
Critical weather conditions are expected during the weekend. Humidity will be low, and winds could gust up to 25 miles per hour.
Large smoke columns visible Sunday from Durango came as fire behavior intensified near the Lower Hermosa Campground and burned conifer stands.
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The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for most of Colorado on Saturday, signifying high fire danger.
In addition, an air quality health advisory was extended on Sunday due to unhealthy levels of smoke, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. A wildfire, named the Natty fire by officials, is burning through rugged and steep terrain in Fremont County nine miles north of Cañon City.
More than 800 crew members are fighting the fire, which is 10 percent contained.
The Durango Herald reports that no homes had been lost by late Friday to the fire, which has blackened more than 11 square miles (29 square kilometers). Firefighters were able to respond quickly to another fire that started Saturday near Wolcott.
The fire has forced a total of 2,500 home evacuations, the Post reported. The Burro fire was estimated to be at about 100 acres as of Saturday morning. The terrain there makes it hard to get firefighters out of the area in case of an emergency, he said, so fire officials are not deploying crews there at this point.
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