Previous Story Growing Colorado wildfire forces more evacuations

Previous Story Growing Colorado wildfire forces more evacuations

Firefighters plan to use pre-positioned sprinkler systems, fire hoses and fire engines, as well as aircraft, to protect the homes.

The Haines Index, used by firefighters to assess the stability and dryness of air over fires, is at its maximum level of six, officials said.

Additional evacuations were ordered Friday morning for 304 homes on the east and west sides of U.S. Highway 550 from Electra Lake Drive north to Hermosa Cliffs Road and the north end of Two Dogs Trail.

A wildfire, named the Natty fire by officials, is burning through rugged and steep terrain in Fremont County nine miles north of Cañon City.

Kelsey Griffee, public information officer for the 416 Fire, said fire officials on Sunday evening do not think it is likely that the 416 Fire will merge with the Burro Fire, which is burning 10 miles to the west near Dolores.

Neither do the other thousands of people who've been evacuated because of this fire that's sending smoke billowing through the sky and shutting down the San Juan National Forest starting Tuesday.

The 416 Fire worked its way to North Buck Creek and the Buck Creek drainage on Sunday and grew to 16,766 acres, nearly doubling in size in a 24-hour period. It was 10 percent contained.

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. Winds are expected to increase throughout the week.

No structures have been lost.

Durango fire updates How many people have been evacuated
REUTERS Wildfires also spread through New Mexico over the last week too

A red flag warning was in place from 10 a.m.to 10 p.m. Sunday.

Weather conditions will continue to be challenging. The emergency call center at (970) 385-8700 can help coordinate pick-up of livestock.

"After these evacuations, we know we're in this for the long haul, "La Plata County Commissioner Gwen Lachelt said Saturday night, according to a Durango Herald reporter".

An evacuation center and shelter is open 24 hours a day at Escalante Middle School, 141 Baker Lane, in Durango.

U.S. Highway 550 will close indefinitely to both northbound and southbound traffic from Cometti/Mead Lane in Hermosa at mile point 32.2, to Cascade just north of Purgatory at mile point 53.

Livestock can be evacuated to the La Plata County Fairgrounds at 2500 Main Avenue in Durango.

A wildfire that prompted evacuations from about 1,300 homes in southwestern Colorado has grown to almost 14 square miles (35 square kilometers). Small animals are being accepted at the La Plata County Humane Society, 1111 South Camino del Rio, Durango (970) 259-2847.

Officials say the cause of the wildfire, which started June 1 in the San Juan National Forest, has not been determined.

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