Published: Mon, June 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

More than 1,000 homes evacuated as Colorado wildfire grows

More than 1,000 homes evacuated as Colorado wildfire grows

A mandatory evacuation order was issued Sunday morning for more than 850 residences in Purgatory/Durango Mountain Resort, Lake Purgatory, Silver Pick Lodge, Cascade Village, Mill Creek and all residences on both sides of U.S. Highway between mile markers 46.5 to 53.1.

Almost 675 firefighters backed by air support are attacking the 11-square-mile (29-square-kilometer) blaze, which already had forced the evacuation of more than 1,000 homes.

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.

The Haines Index, used by firefighters to assess the stability and dryness of air over fires, is at its maximum level of six, officials said.

DURANGO, Colo. - A growing wildfire burning in southwestern Colorado forced more people from their homes Sunday as crews tried to slow the blaze being fed by continued hot, dry and windy conditions.

Another area of emphasis for fire officials is the north branch of the fire near the Purgatory ski area, Powell said, and significant resources are being devoted to checking the spread of the fire there.

"We do not anticipate at this time losing any structures", Eaby said. More information about evacuations is available at the La Plata County Government Facebook page.

"This indicates that there is a high potential for extreme fire behavior, intensity and growth", the new release read.

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Metro West Fire Protection District sent assistance too.

Residents of about 1,300 homes have been ordered to evacuate, including 220 on Saturday. No structures had been lost as of Friday morning.

Aerial operations are creating a larger burnout area on the north side of the fire to serve as a barrier should the fire spread that direction from the southwest.

In 2017, a near-record 4 million hectares were burned in USA wildfires, the National Interagency Coordination Center said.

On Sunday, seven helicopters helped the 813 firefighters battling the fire.

The National Weather Service in Grand Junction has issued a dense smoke advisory for Southwest Colorado from 9 p.m. Sunday through noon Monday.

In this Saturday, June 9, 2018 photo, a wildfire burns on the east side of Hermosa Cliffs near Hermosa, Colo.

As the weather persists, La Plata County commissioners will meet at 10 a.m. Tuesday to consider enacting Stage 3 fire restrictions.

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