DURANGO, Colo. (KRQE) - Two fires in southwestern Colorado are moving toward homes with residents in the path of one blaze urged to clear out.
The Little East Fire was reported at about 4 p.m. Wednesday about six miles southeast of Mancos. Strong winds quickly from private to public land, according to the Durango Interagency Fire Dispatch.
At last report it was at 100 acres and still growing. Its cause is not yet known.
Flames are moving toward East Canyon, and the U.S. Forest Service has called for the evacuation of residents of 30-40 homes. The fire is about 20 miles west of Durango in the area where the Weber Fire burned in June.
Meanwhile the Vallecitos Fire northeast of Durango also is being pushed by winds back toward Vallecitos Reservoir and is directly threatening homes in the Lakeview Estates subdivision. Firefighters from around La Plata County have responded for structure protection.
The Upper Pine Fire District is planning a community meeting for Vallecitos residents at 7 p.m. at the Outpost near Shank House.
A bulldozer working the fire line earlier in the day had to be pulled out for the operator's safety, and high winds have not only grounded firefighting aircraft but kept ground crews from making direct attacks, a statement from the dispatch center said.
Residents suspect a lightning strike during a storm on Friday started the fire.
A third fire estimated at a half acre or less also has been reported in the South Hope Creek drainage in the San Juan National Forest about 10 miles northwest of Hermosa, a community on U.S. Highway 550 about 10 miles north of Durango..
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