More evacuations ordered at Colorado wildfire

The Durango Herald reports that no homes had been lost by late Friday to the fire, which has blackened more than 11 square miles (29 square kilometers).

On Sunday, seven helicopters helped the 813 firefighters battling the fire.

How many people have been evacuated?

A wildfire, named the Natty fire by officials, is burning through rugged and steep terrain in Fremont County nine miles north of Cañon City.

The 416 Fire in Colorado's La Plata County has burned 1,100 acres.

The mandatory order was issued Sunday morning for 675 residences in Purgatory/Durango Mountain Resort, Lake Purgatory, Silver Pick Lodge, Cascade Village, Mill Creek and all residences on both sides of U.S. Highway between mile markers 46.5 to 53.1.

Neither do the other thousands of people who've been evacuated because of this fire that's sending smoke billowing through the sky and shutting down the San Juan National Forest starting Tuesday.

As of Saturday morning, the Colorado fire remained at 10 percent contained, but it had grown by about 1,500 acres (607 hectares) since Friday, mostly in less inhabited areas to the west that officials said they were monitoring while they concentrate on protecting structures to the east, north and south.

"It's still a fan on the fire", Oravec said.

Map of the 416 Fire at 9:15 p.m. MDT June 7, 2018.

Aircraft estimated the new acreage at approximately 10 p.m. Sunday. Winds are expected to increase throughout the week.

Traffic is restricted on U.S. Highway 550 because of heavy firefighter activity.

Critical weather conditions are expected during the weekend.

As of Friday evening, no structures were threatened and no evacuation orders had been issued.

A release from the La Plata County government last week said: "Wind and weather conditions on Saturday helped to limit the physical growth of the fire, with 3-5 miles per hour winds and gusts up to 10 miles per hour".

An evacuation center and shelter is open at Escalante Middle School at 141 Baker Lane in Durango.

Livestock can be evacuated to the La Plata County Fairgrounds at 2500 Main Avenue.

For up-to-date information on evacuation status, you are asked to call the La Plata County Emergency Operations Center at (970) 385-8700.

In total, more than 1,000 homes have been evacuated, and residents of more than 1,500 homes are on pre-evacuation notice. Small animals are being accepted at the La Plata County Humane Society, 1111 South Camino del Rio, Durango (970) 259-2847.

The fire is burning on the west side of U.S. Highway 550 on some private land and on the San Juan National Forest.

  • Rogelio Becker