Lightner Creek Fire: More residents near Durango prepare to evacuate


DURANGO, Colo. (KRQE) – About 170 homes are still under evacuation notices because of the Lightner Creek Fire.

Many of those forced to leave their homes are now saying at an evacuation center.

Thursday afternoon, evacuees were moved to Escalante Middle School after several dozen checked in Wednesday at the La Plata County Fairgrounds.

According to officials, the fairgrounds are now being used as staging for Type II teams expected to join the firefight Friday morning.

Officials say no homes are directly threatened, but again, about 170 homes were evacuated.

Thursday, those who were forced to leave their homes at a moment’s notice say they took off with just the clothes on their backs.

“It was very close. By the time we left the house you could feel the heat wave off the fire, I could hear the roar of the flames. It was pretty scary and we could only grab what we could and run,” evacuee James Breedlode said.

James Breedlode says you never realize how many small things you need on a daily basis until you are forced to leave it all behind. He was trying to find clothing and toiletries at the evacuation center for his family, including his 7-year-old daughter. They stayed at a hotel Wednesday night, and are hoping to do the same Thursday.

Evacuees with pets can bring them to the middle school, but they can’t stay there. The Humane Society is transferring pets to the animal shelter to be picked up later.

The evacuation notices remain for all areas, and officials issued another pre-evacuation notice for the Rafter J. subdivision. Anyone there should grab important documents, medications and be ready to leave. For more details about which areas are being evacuated, click here.

Volunteers from the Red Cross are at the evacuation center for anyone needing to stay overnight. They also have snacks, water and some clothing.

The Lightner Creek Fire started Wednesday afternoon. Officials believe embers from a house fire spread to the forest.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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