Thousands evacuated as raging wildfire devastates Colorado homes

15 June, 2018, 14:22 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Entire San Juan National Forest To Be Closed To Public

The 416 Fire north of Durango in southwest Colorado has burned about 36 square miles (about 93 square kilometers) and is partially contained.

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.

Meanwhile, additional firefighters were headed to Wyoming to work on a wildfire that has exploded in size and prompted evacuations near the Colorado border.

The 12-day-old conflagration, dubbed the 416 Fire, was by far the largest and most threatening of at least a half-dozen blazes raging across Colorado as the 2018 summer wildfire season heated up across the Western United States.

A fire reported Tuesday in a part of Colorado known for its ski resorts has forced the evacuation of more than 1,300 homes.

By Thursday, the blaze burning 67 miles west of Denver had consumed 91 acres and was still growing, thanks to gusty winds, according to Inciweb.

Around 11 a.m Tuesday morning, Summit County Fire & EMS reported a wildfire burning on Buffalo Mountain. Evacuations are in order for Wildernest and Mesa Cortina neighborhoods.

"We were just happy to get back". They want to prevent the possibility of an abandoned campfire or any other spark from starting a wildfire that could quickly spread in bone-dry vegetation and be pushed by hot, windy weather.


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 full closure, which the Associated Press reports last took place in 2002, does not affect roads that cross through the forest.

As of 9 p.m. Sunday, the fire was roughly estimated at 100 acres and there is no containment.

Images from the scene showed thick smoke pouring into the air and aerial firefighting resources trying to tamp down the blaze.

In southern Wyoming, firefighters battled a 17-square-mile (44 square kilometer) fire in the Medicine Bow National Forest that forced the evacuation of almost 400 homes in 10 small communities.

Packard said the adobe-style resort has seen no impact from the forest closure and credited authorities with putting up signs telling visitors that local businesses are open.

Some forest land in Arizona and New Mexico has also been closed because of the fire danger.

The cause of the Fire is unknown and is under investigation.

On Wednesday, a fast-moving brush fire destroyed eight homes in the southern Utah tourist town of Moab.

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