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Durango 416 Fire Update: 2,250 Acre Colorado Wildfire Growing

A wildfire burning in southwest Colorado had grown to some 2,250 acres by Sunday evening, officials announced. The blaze, dubbed the 416 fire, sparked north of the city of Durango Friday morning.

Around 400 firefighters were working to combat the fire, which was only about 10 percent contained, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. Mandatory evacuation orders remained in place for more than 800 homes, while the residents of another 700 homes were told to be ready to evacuate at any time. It remained unclear when residents would be able to return to their homes.

“Unfortunately, the fire is above the mountain and above those homes,” said Shawna Hartman, a spokeswoman for the incident management team commanding the fire response Sunday, according to the Durango Herald. “With the drought and the fuel opening, the potential for spotting is very, very high at this time. It’s still possible that the hot spots that remain on the fire’s edge along the corridor could jump the highway. With the weather we’re predicting for the next few days, we want to make sure we can hold that line before we allow residents back in.”

Parts of Highway 550, closed as a result of the fire, were expected to reopen Monday, though authorities said roads could close again at any time.

It remained unclear how the fire started. Sunday brought rain to the area, though authorities said it did significantly not help firefighting efforts. An evacuation center was open at Escalante Middle School in Durango, while a livestock evacuation center was open at the La Plata County Fairgrounds.

Elsewhere in the western United States, other wildfires continued to burn. In New Mexico, the 36,000 acre Ute Park Fire destroyed about 14 structures over the weekend. The fire was about 23 percent contained Monday. In Laguna Beach, California, the Aliso Viejo fire forced mandatory evacuations as it burned through about 150 acres. The Aliso Viejo fire was about 40 percent contained.

416 Fire The 416 fire near Durango, Colorado, grew to 2,250 acres Sunday. La Plata County/Twitter

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