Forest Closed and Thousands Evacuated as Colorado Wildfires Grow

Forest Closed and Thousands Evacuated as Colorado Wildfires Grow

Forest Closed and Thousands Evacuated as Colorado Wildfires Grow

The 416 fire, just north of Durango, Colo., has forced residents of about 2,000 homes to evacuate since it started June 1.

Officials are still investigating the cause of the 416 fire.

Due to the rapid growth of the fire and the emergency situation, efforts continue to be focused on evacuation, public safety, and fire assessment.

The team fighting the 416 Fire said isolated showers were several days away, and that hot, dry, windy conditions were ripe for spreading the flames on Monday.

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.

"Given the fire behavior that we've been seeing and the amount of fire on the landscape and the amount of structures in the area, that's a really good thing", Knight said.

The closures in Bernalillo County mark the latest as national forests and state parks in New Mexico and elsewhere across the West have been put off limits while dry conditions and the threat of wildfire persist.

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

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The Buffalo Fire that began burning near Silverthorne Tuesday and prompted the evacuation of over 1,300 homes was human-caused, according to authorities. Crews will continue to patrol the corridor for hot spots and to watch for spot fires.

The fire covers more than 23,000 acres, according to the latest updates on federal wildfire database Inciweb.

A fire in California that burned nearly 200 acres has been contained, officials said. Adam Bianchi, the public information officer for White River, said they're seeing "a lot of spotting ahead of the fire" as it heads to areas with heavy fuels. "Multiple aircraft are actively dropping water and retardant at this time", county fire officials said. The communities of Woods Landing, New Jelm, and Jelm are being evacuated by Albany County first responders.

Evacuees are being asked to check in at the Harmony School off Wyoming Highway 230. Residents of another 500 homes have been told they too might have to evacuate, La Plata County officials said.

That means some of the trails in the Sandia foothills will be open in part and closed once hikers leave city property and enter the forest, he said.

Another wildfire is being fought in Colorado, this time near the town of Silverthorne along the busy Interstate 70 corridor.

Summit Fire and U.S. Forest Service crews are responding to the fire.

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