416 Fire near Durango grows to 34,177 acres

Wildfires

The 416 Fire, which started on June 1, saw a significant increase over the weekend. 

As of Wednesday, June 20, the fire is at 34,177 acres in size and remains at 35 percent contained. 

Over the weekend, new evacuation orders were put in place for 127 additional residences, from County Road 205 to the Falls Creek subdivision entrance. That means more than 2,100 homes are evacuated.

The dry, warm and windy conditions are causing the blaze to continue to grow.

Officials also announced an Air Quality Health Advisory due to the unhealthy levels of smoke Sunday morning. 

The United States Postal Service has also announced on Twitter that due to the growing fire, USPS is unable to make 800 mail deliveries to residences off Highway 550. These deliveries can be picked up at the Durango Post Office with an ID.

Meanwhile, evacuation orders for the residents of San Juan County, CO, north of Purgatory, will be allowed to return to their homes beginning at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, June 13. Residents will need to present the “Rapid Tag” resident credentials to be allowed back in. However, the area will remain on pre-evacuation notice. 

Beginning at noon on Wednesday, Highway 550 will reopen to escorted traffic until 6 p.m. The northern closure point will be moved from Molas Pass to just north of Purgatory. 

There are over 800 fire personnel working on the blaze. Aircraft and ground crews are both at work in the Lower Hermosa area. 

So far, no structures have been lost. 

Highway 550 north also remains closed at this time.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

WILDFIRES MAP: 416 Fire Info – Closures, Evacuations

Closures

  • The Hermosa watershed is temporarily closed, including Lower Hermosa Campground, Hermosa Creek, Jones Creek, Dutch Creek Trails, and Hermosa Park Road.
  • U.S. Highway 550 closed from San Juan County line to Cometti Lane at mile marker 32

Evacuations

  • Iron Gate subdivision
  • Rockwood subdivision
  • Glacier Club south to Baker’s Bridge evacuated east of 550 west to Animas River
  • Electra Lake Road – this includes Chris Park and Haviland Lake areas. 
  • Purgatory
  • Lake Purgatory
  • Silver Pick Lodge
  • Cascade Village north to mile marker 53.1
  • Purgatory/Durango Mountain Resort

Pre-evacuations Notices

  • Residence and businesses on the east side of County Road 203
  • Celadon, Red Tail Mountain Ranch, Elkhorn Mountain neighborhoods and subdivisions
  • Residences from Mead/Cometti/Albrecht Lane south to Trimble Lane west from the Animas River
  • Dalton Ranch north of Trimble Lane
  • Durango Regency
  • Estancia
  • Cottonwoods neighborhoods and subdivisions.
  • Residences along the east and west sides of County Road 205, north from its intersection with County Road 204 to the Falls Creek Ranch subdivision entrance.

Evacuation Locations

  • La Plata County Fairgrounds
  • Escalante Middle School at 141 Baker Lane in Durango
  • Livestock can be evacuated to the La Plata County Fairgrounds at 2500 Main Avenue. The emergency call center at (970) 385-8700 can help coordinate pick-up of livestock. 
  • Small animals are being accepted at the La Plata County Humane Society, 1111 South Camino del Rio, Durango (970) 259-2847

The Discover Goodwill of Durango, 1230 Escalante Drive, is now accepting clothes and household donations. Financial donations can be made by calling the Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado at (970) 375-5807, in the name of the Community Emergency Relief Fund.

To receive emergency notifications, including evacuation and pre-evacuation notices, on your cell phone or via email: bit.ly/CodeRed_signup.

Pre-Evacuation Steps

Inside the house:

  • Gather medications
  • Pack a bag with clothing and essentials
  • Shut off air conditioning and fans
  • Shut all windows and doors before leaving
  • If you have time, gather paperwork and photographs that cannot be replaced

Outside the house:

  • Gather flammable items and bring them inside (patio furniture, children’s toys, door mats, trash cans, etc.)
  • Move propane BBQ appliances away from structures.
  • Connect garden hoses to outside water valves or spigots for use by firefighters.
  • Fill water buckets and place them around the house.
  • Don’t leave sprinklers or water running; this can affect critical water pressure
  • Leave exterior lights on so your home is visible to firefighters in the smoke or darkness of night.
  • Back your car into the driveway with vehicles loaded and all doors and windows closed. Carry your car keys with you.

Animals:

  • Locate your pets and keep them nearby.
  • Prepare livestock for transport and plan to move them to a safe location early
  • Pack food and medications for your pet

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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