416 Fire Update: Durango, Colorado, Wildfire Reaches More Than 34,000 Acres

The 416 Fire burning near Durango, Colorado, reached 34,161 acres by Sunday, June 17, the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team said in an update. More than 1,000 fire personnel were deployed to combat the fire, which was 30 percent contained.

Rainfall in the region from the remnants of Hurricane Bud helped firefighters contain the blaze over the weekend. But the fire was not put out completely, and additional rain was not expected for another week, Type 1 incident management team spokesman Scot Davis told The Durango Herald.

Evacuated residents in the Hermosa area were able to return home Sunday. Pre-evacuation notices for certain areas were also lifted. Evacuation and pre-evacuation orders for the Falls Creek area, however, remained in effect.

U.S. Highway 550 was opened to all traffic, the La Plata County Government said on Facebook.

Drier, warmer weather was expected to return to the region Tuesday, the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team said. The temperature was expected to be in the lower 80s, while humidity was likely to drop to between 15 and 20 percent. Officials predicted moderate fire behavior in the days to come.

The 416 Fire began some 10 miles north of Durango at around 10 a.m. local time June 1. It was not expected to be fully contained until July 31.

At least five other fires were also burning in Colorado Monday, including the Horse Park Fire at 1,221 acres and the Burro Fire at 3,715 acres. The Horse Park Fire, southwest of Norwood, was 91 percent contained Monday. The Burro Fire, burning near Bear Creek in the San Juan National Forest, was only 12 percent contained.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper said last week that state, federal, county and municipal resources were working together to combat the multiple fires, and that public health and safety were top priorities.

"If you are in the fire zones, please follow safety procedures and directives," Hickenlooper said. "Our state agencies are here to support you. As we have proved time and time again, Coloradans are resilient."

416 Fire Full Map
The 416 wildfire in Durango, Colorado, reached more than 34,000 acres by June 17. InciWeb