Fire in southwest Colorado doubles in size, forces evacuations

Durango fire updates: How many people have been evacuated? What causes a wildfire?

No structures have been destroyed so far, but the fire was a few hundred yards (meters) from homes with multiple aircraft dropping water and flame retardant to curtail the blaze, according to Inciweb, an interagency fire report.

Along with new acreage estimates, officials said the 416 Fire is expected to grow at a rate of.5 to.75 miles per hour due to gusty winds.

The 416 Fire in Colorado's La Plata County has burned 1,100 acres.

Residents of a total of 1,975 homes have now been ordered to evacuate. Stage 3 restrictions would result in a closure of the San Juan National Forest, said Kara Chadwick, San Juan National Forest supervisor.

As of Saturday morning, the Colorado fire remained at 10 percent contained, but it had grown by about 1,500 acres (607 hectares) since Friday, mostly in less inhabited areas to the west that officials said they were monitoring while they concentrate on protecting structures to the east, north and south. Crews underwent a successful burnout operation on the southwest side of the fire overnight that lasted until midnight, Eaby said.

The Type I team managing the 416 Fire will also assume command of the Burro Fire at 6 a.m. Monday and a separate camp will be set up for management of the Burro Fire.

The evacuations were issued in anticipation of the fire behavior and wind conditions expected Friday on the north end of the 416 Fire.

No structures have been lost.

Paul Boyer of Durango Colo. levels his camera for a shot of the plume as it rises from the wildfire near Hermosa Colo. (Jerry McBride  The Durango Herald
416 Fire expected to hit homes on Friday

Weather conditions will continue to be challenging.

The fire remains 10 percent contained with 813 personnel on site. Evacuated residents are asked to check in at the evacuation center to receive credentials for re-entry when conditions allow the evacuation order to be lifted.

An evacuation center and shelter is open at Escalante Middle School at 141 Baker Lane in Durango. The emergency call center at (970) 385-8700 can help coordinate pick-up of livestock.

Firefighters issued the evacuation of almost 500 homes in the town of Hermosa the 416 fire continues to burn in the nearby city of Durango.

Firefighters will continue to patrol along US 550 to mop up hot spots and keep the flames west of the highway and away from structures.

Livestock can be evacuated to the La Plata County Fairgrounds at 2500 Main Avenue. Small animals are being accepted at the La Plata County Humane Society, 1111 South Camino del Rio, Durango (970) 259-2847.

Another wildfire, the Burro fire, was burning about 13 miles west of the 416 fire through the San Juan National Forest in Montezuma County, causing campers in the area to be evacuated.

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