New wildfire erupts near Colorado ski resorts, houses

Lester Mason
June 14, 2018

The 416 Fire north of Durango in southwest Colorado has burned about 36 square miles (about 93 square kilometers) and is partially contained. Forest Spokesman Aaron Voos said the fire is making a run to the east. Power has been cut to the area in cooperation with Carbon Power and Light. The Burro fire has affected 1,000 acres and is now zero percent contained.

Gusting winds and stubborn hot, dry weather in southwestern Colorado helped stoke a largely uncontrolled wildfire that grew by almost a third to more than 22,000 acres (8,900 hectares) on Monday, with more than 2,000 homes under evacuation order.

"(If it were not for) that, two to three hundred homes would have been gone", White said of his neighborhood.

Rangers have closed the entire San Juan National Forest in southern Colorado and Santa Fe National Forest in New Mexico near Santa Fe, along with popular areas in the Tonto, Apache-Sitgreaves, Coconino and Kaibab national forests in Arizona.

Voos said people who have been evacuated can not return to their properties to retrieve belongings, as officials need to know that the area is clear. They used non-combustible materials for their roofs and created wide fire breaks around their homes by clearing brush and trees, Powell said.

Anyone caught violating the order could be found guilty of a Class B misdemeanor and face a fine of $5,000 for individuals or $10,000 for organizations, and/or imprisonment.

Gov. John Hickenlooper said the state was allocating many resources for the fires in the states.

"Our state agencies are here to support you. As we have proved time and time again, Coloradans are resilient", he said.

A couple in Colorado wound up with some wild wedding photos after they got married during the 416 Fire. Authorities will seek opportunities to allow residents to return temporarily to their homes, as conditions allow, until the sheriff lifts the evacuation order.

More than 900 firefighters were dealing with rough and inaccessible terrain, and residents of more than 2,000 homes have been forced to evacuate since the flames ignited June 1.

The smoke from the wildfire has affected air quality, Graham said.

Escorted traffic will be able to travel on Highway 550 from 8 8 p.m. Thursday, June 14. As of Tuesday, there were no known structures that were burned or destroyed by the fire and no known injuries or fatalities. Far across the state about 95 km west of Denver, a newer blaze called the Buffalo Mountain fire prompted the mandatory evacuation of 1,380 homes after blackening a comparatively small area of just 100 acres, Summit County officials said.

A fire in California that burned nearly 200 acres has been contained, officials said.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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