Published: Fri, June 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

Colorado's 416 Wildfire: Durango Warnings Issued As Lightning Storm Threatens New Blazes

Colorado's 416 Wildfire: Durango Warnings Issued As Lightning Storm Threatens New Blazes

Summit Fire Chief Jeff Berino said Wednesday night that lightning has been ruled out as a cause of the Buffalo Fire, which erupted Tuesday near the central Colorado town of Silverthorne.

And in southwestern Colorado, residents of about 180 homes were allowed back home because a fire there is no longer considered a threat to the homes. However, officials announced that the evacuation orders for San Juan County residents will be lifted by 8 a.m. local time on Wednesday.

Residents needed to present ID to get back into their neighborhoods.

A handful of other wildfires, including the 95-percent-contained Ute Park Fire in New Mexico, continue to burn in the Four Corners region. The investigation was ongoing. "We're definitely asking the firefighters to keep their eyes open and their heads up and pay attention to any changes in the weather", fire team spokesman Jamie Knight told The Durango Herald.

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.

No one has been hurt, and no structures have burned down in the 416 Fire, La Plata County spokeswoman Megan Graham said.

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.

Firefighters, who have been concentrating much of their efforts on protecting homes and structures, have not been able to gain any containment of the fire, mainly because of strong winds driving the blaze.

He saw the flames taking over the area when he was evacuated Tuesday night and said he was anxious if his home of 15 years would be there when he returned. Those living below 20 Grand Road were placed on a pre-evacuation notice.

Due to the extreme fire danger, the U.S. Forest Service closed the entire, almost 3,000-square-mile San Juan National Forest to the public on Tuesday.

Flames engulf trees in the Wildernest neighbourhood.

Evacuations are handled by Coconino County, and more information about being prepared to evacuate can be found online at

Officials are still investigating the cause of the 416 fire.

Evacuees are being asked to check in at the Harmony School off Wyoming Highway 230. A number of Forest Roads in the area are closed, including Forest Roads 530, 544,501, 512 WA and the Mountain Home Trail System.

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