Significant rain for Colorado wildfire unlikely until weekend: NWS

Elias Hubbard
June 14, 2018

"In the mornings, the smoke is incredibly dense from the fire on down into [Durango], and actually on down to the New Mexico state line", she said.

A new wildfire burning in Colorado's mountains is dangerously close to a ski resort town.

The order is effective Friday for the Mountainair and Sandia districts, and in place June 22 for the Mount Taylor district.

The fire is burning two miles west of Silverthorne and has burned 91 acres since it began Tuesday morning.

Firefighters battled to gain control over several large wildfires in Colorado on Tuesday, including two fires burning at opposite ends of the state that have prompted the evacuation of more than 3,500 homes and the closure of a national forest.

"We recognize that this is hard for the local businesses and the local economy and just ask that people just be understanding and patient", Hooley said.

"Without a doubt, this is a serious situation, but wildfire is a reality that we live with here in the western United States", said White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams in a statement.

A fire reported Tuesday in a part of Colorado known for its ski resorts has forced the evacuation of more than 1,300 homes. There have been no reports of homes being damaged by the blaze.

The fire has only been 15% contained since it was first reported on June 1.

"It's going to get worse before it gets better", incident commander Todd Pechota told the Durango Herald.

The U.S. Forest Service will take a similar action Tuesday, closing the entire 1.8 million San Juan National Forest.

Fire danger on the SJNF remains very high due to exceptional drought and fuel conditions.

The 416 Fire - named after its emergency service call number - is by far the largest of at least a half-dozen blazes raging across Colorado. The date is not a set-in-stone time for when the fire will be completely contained.

There also is an exception in the Sandia district for Foothills Trail No. 365, the Sandia Peak Tram and the Sandia Ranger District Administrative site, which includes the Tijeras Pueblo, trail, programs and facilities, forest officials said in a news release.

The fire destroyed 14 unoccupied structures at the Boy Scouts' Philmont Ranch overnight as it burned near Highway 64 in Ute Park.

On Tuesday, InciWeb, a federal database of USA fires, showed the wildfire was 92% contained, and said Cimarron Canyon State Park will be closed through July 4.

Though thunderstorms in the next few days could bring much-needed moisture to the area, officials are anxious the storm could bring lightning and gusty winds that lead to unpredictable fire behavior. The fire started on Sunday, and officials were asking anyone who might have been in the area where it started for any information on the cause.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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