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Colorado fire forces evacuation of more homes

13 June 2018

A total of 813 people are fighting the fire as of Sunday evening. At least 675 homes are affected by the new evacuations.

Fire officials said the priority for Friday will be to protect structures in the Hermosa area.

The so-called 416 Fire in southwest Colorado had burned almost 17,000 acres by Sunday morning, an area larger than Manhattan.

The large wildfire has prompted the evacuation of an additional 859 homes in the Purgatory/Durango Mountain Resort, Lake Purgatory, Silver Pick Lodge, Cascade Village, and Mill Creek areas. At 7 p.m. the San Juan National Forest was in the process of issuing closure orders for this fire. The fire has burned more than 16,766 Acres with 10% containment as of Sunday morning.

Firefighters have kept the Colorado fire to the west of Highway 550 and away from structures, county commissioners in La Plata County, Colorado, said in a Saturday Facebook post. And the Natty fire, which covered 70 acres near Cañon City in south-central Colorado, had been 70 percent contained.

The Type I team managing the 416 Fire will also assume command of the Burro Fire at 6 a.m. Monday and a separate camp will be set up for management of the Burro Fire.

Aircraft estimated the new acreage at approximately 10 p.m. Sunday. No structures had been lost as of Friday morning.

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Monday is expected to be dry again, but wind speeds should decrease.

Critical weather conditions are expected during the weekend.

An evacuation center and shelter is open 24 hours a day at Escalante Middle School at 141 Baker Lane in Durango.

There were no new burn-area updates early on Monday for the so-called 416 Fire in southwest Colorado but, according to the last update, it had burned almost 17,000 acres (6,880 hectares) by Sunday evening, an area larger than Manhattan.

For up-to-date information on evacuation status, you are asked to call the La Plata County Emergency Operations Center at (970) 385-8700.

As of Friday evening, no structures were threatened and no evacuation orders had been issued.

Livestock can be evacuated to the La Plata County Fairgrounds at 2500 Main Avenue. Smoke is expected to be heaviest in the U.S. Highway 550 corridor from Molas Pass through Durango and down to the New Mexico line, as well as the U.S. Highway 160 corridor between Hesperus and Bayfield, extending east past Pagosa Springs. Small animals are being accepted at the La Plata County Humane Society, 1111 South Camino del Rio, Durango (970) 259-2847. But at about 5:45 p.m. MDT Friday the San Juan National Forest reported the fire had crossed the creek just west of Lower Hermosa Campground.

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Colorado fire forces evacuation of more homes