Tues., June 12, 9:30 a.m. update
Fire growth slows; burn-out operations will be visible from Durango over next few days
Firefighters are making small but steady gains on the 416 Fire, which grew by less than 1,000 acres Monday, to 23,378 acres as of Tuesday morning. The fire was also reported at 15 percent containment, a step up from the 10 percent of the last several days.
Meanwhile, the Burro Fire, a few miles west of the 416, was at 2,684 Tuesday morning, with zero containment.
There are 917 personnel working on the 416 Fire. Today, they will again be focusing on burn-out operations ahead of the fire’s southern edge, west of Hermosa. Residents are advised that, in the coming days, smoke and flames will be visible from Durango as a result of these burn-out operations.
Hot, dry and windy conditions will last through Wednesday, with storms over the higher peaks Wednesday afternoon expected to increase gusty winds. There is, however, a sliver of hope on the horizon, with isolated thunderstorms forecast for the San Juans on Thursday – Saturday.
• Stage 3 fire restrictions went into place today for the entire San Juan National Forest, prohibiting all public access to the forest, including trails, roads and campgrounds.
• Division H (west of the fire) the fire is expected to grow as it encounters heavier fuels. The area is being monitored from the air, with a small number of firefighters scouting from the ground.
• Division D (south end, lower Hermosa) Staffing has increased to extend fire line from the Falls Creek Road (CR 205) northwest up Junction Creek Road/FR 171. Smoke and flames are likely today as crews continue burn out operations. Both aircraft and ground crews will be in operation. Firefighters will also continue to mop up already burned areas and attend to further structure protection.
• Division Y (Electra Lake area) The fire is currently stalled in the rocks here, and while it will still grow northward, crews are taking advantage of this time to work ahead of the fire and put protective measures in place. Water was dropped on the fire Monday as well.
• Division Z (Haviland to Baker’s) Activity remains quiet on the west side of 550 here, and this area gained further containment Monday. There is still potential for rolling fire debris, so crews are keeping watch. On the east side of 550, firefighters are performing chipping operations to mitigate fuels around structures.
• Division X (Purgatory and areas north of fire) Crews worked to bring line north from Hermosa Creek Road (FR 578) around Purgatory Resort. The resort is prepped for protection if needed, and fire lines continue to be improved.
• Burro Fire: Heavy, dead fuels and steep terrain are the main drivers of fire behavior. The fire is now established along the ridge east of Bear Creek and continues to spread slowly northeast. Firefighters are working to keep the fire from moving south and west. Dozer line is under construction on the south side, and crews are assessing areas with structures.
• Highway 550 remains closed today from Trimble Lane to Molas Pass.
• D&SNGRR announced it will suspend operations until at least until June 30.
• The City of Durango will meet at 3:45 p.m. today to discuss whether or not to close city trails and open space.
• For up to date information on evacuations, call the La Plata County Emergency Operations Center at 970-385-8700 or visit www.co.laplata.co.us.
• For updates on the fire, go to www.facebook/416fire.