Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

All Evacuation Orders Lifted For Buffalo Fire

Entire San Juan National Forest To Be Closed To Public Eyewitness images reveal devastation of Colorado wildfires (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)
Leonard Rios | 15 June, 2018, 14:22

Thousands of home and businesses are being threatened by several wildfires, including at least seven raging through Colorado.

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 San Juan National Forest in southwestern Colorado is closed to visitors on Tuesday because of a large wildfire and dry, warm conditions that raise the risk of further blazes. There have been no reports of homes being damaged by the blaze.

The 416 fire, just north of Durango, Colo., has forced residents of about 2,000 homes to evacuate since it started June 1. Burn out efforts, that is, efforts to burn up the fire's potential fuel, continued throughout the day.

Residences and businesses in the Rockwood, Tamarron, and Glacier Club areas who were evacuated on June 1 were allowed back into their homes Wednesday.

The City of Pueblo also said it will be deploying a Type 1 fire apparatus to assist with fire, including four personnel Tuesday evening.

More than 1,300 homes already been evacuated, with people living in more than 1,000 other houses waiting to see if they'll be next. They remain on pre-evacuation notice.

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All residents were allowed to return home starting at 3 p.m. Thursday.

The west side of the 416 Fire has been the location of most of the activity recently where it has spread seven miles west of Highway 550 and to within six miles of another blaze, the 2,337-acre Burro Fire. Incident Commander Todd Pechota said he plans to bring in more crews to replace outgoing firefighters.

Extreme fire danger in the southwest has prompted federal land managers to take the unusual step of indefinitely closing public access to an area of national forests larger than CT.

The fire has burned about 17 square miles (44 square kilometers) and forced the evacuation of almost 400 residences in 10 small communities in the area.

Some forest land in Arizona and New Mexico has also been closed because of the fire danger. On top of that, human-caused fires usually affect regions close to population centers. It's the first full closure of a Colorado national forest since 2002.

At this time the cause of the fire is unknown, but the origin of the fire is near Forest Road 501, and between Badger Creek and the North Fork of Pelton Creek. By Thursday, the fire was 95 percent contained.

James Rinehart, a firefighter with Big Laramie Valley Volunteer Fire Department, looks up at the sky while protecting a structure from a wildfire Sunday, June 10, 2018 in Mountain Home, Wyo.

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