(UPDATED at 7:03 a.m. MDT June 13, 2018)
Most of the spread of the 416 Fire north of Durango, Colorado Tuesday and Tuesday night was on the west side where it continues to grow onto the higher slopes in terrain that becomes increasingly difficult for ground-based firefighters. The fire ate up about 1,500 acres to bring the total to 25,900 acres.
It was announced Tuesday night that the evacuation order for residents in San Juan County will lift at 8 a.m. on June 13. Residents will need to present a Rapid Tag resident credentials to return. The residences in San Juan County will remain on pre-evacuation notice.
Resources on the 416 Fire include 9 Type 1 hand crews, 14 Type 2 hand crews, 55 engines, 3 dozers, and 4 water tenders for a total of 1,028 personnel. There are 203 personnel on the Burro Fire.
There was very little growth or activity on the Burro Fire Tuesday.
Fire management authorities are not releasing the cause of either fire.
A photo I took two days ago from the 416 Fire. If you look at the photo with the flames ripping the hillside, you can see the little white dots right in front of the fire. Those are the helmets of the the Hotshots, an elite team that battle high priority fires. #416Fire pic.twitter.com/XWYxuluGzJ
— Hank Blum (@hankblum) June 13, 2018
(Originally published at 12:12 p.m. MDT June 12, 2018)
The wildfire with the odd name, “416”, continues to be very active especially on the west side. Over the past two days it has grown two miles closer to Durango, Colorado on the south side and is now seven miles from the north edge of the city, covering a total of 23,378 acres.
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.
The west side of the 416 Fire is burning at over 8,000 feet in terrain that is difficult for ground resources. An 11,000 foot ridge separates the two fires and in normal times should serve as a barrier preventing them from merging, but the way wildfires have been behaving in recent years is anything but “normal”.
Todd Pechota’s Type 1 Incident Management Team is handling both fires.
The weather forecast for the fire area through Thursday calls for south and southwest winds of less than 10 mph, temperatures in the low 80’s, and 9 to 12 percent relative humidity. Beginning Thursday there is a chance of thunderstorms.