Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Colorado Wildfires Displace Thousands And Prompt Closure Of National Forest

Colorado Wildfires Displace Thousands And Prompt Closure Of National Forest

Burning branches and large embers carried by fire-generated winds have blown up to a mile away and landed on roofs.

As of Monday, the 416 Fire north of Durango has ripped through more than 22,130 acres around the Hermosa Creek drainage, while the Burro Fire has rapidly grown to more than 1,000 acres northeast of Dolores.

UPDATE (2 p.m.): According to the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland Twitter, the communities of Beehive, Gramm, & Miller Lake communities are being evacuated by Albany County officials.

Extreme fire danger conditions, which have resulted in two raging wildfires on the San Juan National Forest, prompted the closure, which prohibits most entry into the forest.

A 3-D map looking northwest showing the fires north and northwest of Durango, Colorado.

"There were big black rolling clouds coming off it and it had gotten to the edge of the forest, right next to the neighborhood", he added.

Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons estimated to KUSA-TV that over 1,000 people could be affected by the evacuations. People living below 20 Grand Road are on pre-evacuation notice.

"We recognize that this is hard for the local businesses and the local economy and just ask that people just be understanding and patient", Hooley said.

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Heavies hit the sky June 11 to help on the Badger Creek Fire.

Authorities ordered the residents of 675 homes to evacuate after the fire burning north of Durango almost doubled in size overnight to 26 square miles (67 square kilometers). There have been no reports of homes being damaged by the blaze. The Burro fire has affected 1,000 acres and is now zero percent contained.

Incident commander Todd Pechota told evacuated residents Saturday that the situation is "going to get worse before it gets better", the Herald reported.

San Juan National Forest officials in southwestern Colorado planned to close hundreds of miles of trails and thousands of miles of back roads to hikers, bikers, horseback riders and campers as soon as Tuesday to prevent the possibility of an abandoned campfire or any other spark from starting a wildfire.

In southern Wyoming near the Colorado border, the so-called Badger Creek Fire in Medicine Bow National Forest grew as evacuation orders were expanded to almost 400 homes in Albany County, according to the online USA fire information service.

The fire in central Colorado had burned only about 100 acres but was dangerously close to two densely populated housing developments near the town of Silverthorne, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) west of Denver.

On Tuesday, InciWeb, a federal database of USA fires, showed the wildfire was 92% contained, and said Cimarron Canyon State Park will be closed through July 4.

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