416 Fire in Colo. burns over 34k acres, 37 percent contained

416 Fire near Durango Colorado night burning operation, June 9, 2018. Photo: inciweb.nwcg.gov

DURANGO, Colorado, June 23, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — The 416 Fire, 13 miles north of Durango, started June 1, and has consumed 34,278 acres. As of late Saturday, it is 37 percent contained.

A news release Saturday evening said, “Continued drying of fuels has led to increased fire behavior. Today’s fire behavior presented as mostly smoldering and creeping, with more significant burning in pockets of unburned fuel.

“Increased activity is likely again tomorrow, and certain areas of the fire could see anywhere from 5 to 100 acres of growth. Fire will be most active on the west side, and multiple areas of visible smoke are probable.”

The weather on Sunday is expected to be sunny, hot and dry, with west winds at 10-15 miles per hour gusting to 25 mph, occasionally reaching 35 mph. A Red Flag Warning is again in place. The temperature will approach 90 degrees by Wednesday, and Thursday and Friday are expected to be critical weather days, the release states.

Smoke plume from U.S. Highway 550 north of Durango, Colorado, on June 1, 2018. Photo: inciweb.nwcg.gov

Officials said the time and effort many residents put into clearing brush and other fuel from around their homes has “paid off significantly.”

“Firefighters have been cleaning up around residences where they formerly performed mitigation operations…Crews and fire management wish to encourage all residents to continue their excellent efforts at creating Firewise communities and building defensible spaces around their homes,” the release says.

A total of 466 personnel are working this fire.

The cause is still under investigation.

For up to date information regarding road closures and public safety, visit www.cotrip.org. La Plata County’s 416 Fire Interactive Map is at https://bit.ly/416fire.

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