Ute Park Fire Update: 36,700 Acre New Mexico Wildfire Almost Contained

The Ute Park wildfire in New Mexico was nearing full containment Thursday, officials confirmed. The 36,740 acre fire, which started May 31 near Highway 64 between Eagle Nest Lake and Cimarron, was about 95 percent contained.

No homes were destroyed in the Ute Park Fire, though 14 outbuildings were burned at Philmont Scout Ranch.

Highway 64 was reopened, though drivers were advised to use caution when traveling due to potential debris and water on the road. Cimarron Canyon State Park was expected to remain closed until at least July 8. Fire officials warned of remaining dangers for those visiting areas that may have been burned, including loose rocks and logs, flash flooding and mud flows.

The cause of the fire remained unknown but was under investigation, authorities said. Firefighters would continue to monitor the area, and expected smoke and flame to be visible over the next few weeks until the area received enough rainfall. Moisture from tropical storm Bud could bring precipitation to the region, aiding firefighting efforts, AccuWeather reported.

Multiple other wildfires continued to burn across parts of the western United States this week. Also in New Mexico, the Buzzard Fire grew to 44,402 acres in the Gila National Forest. The fire, which authorities said was sparked by an illegal campfire, was about 74 percent contained Wednesday.

Near Durango, Colorado, the 416 fire spread to more than 27,000 acres after sparking June 1. More than 1,000 homes were evacuated, while others were put on pre-evacuation notices.

The Buffalo Mountain Fire in Silverthorne, Colorado, grew to 91 acres by Thursday morning, forcing the evacuation of more than 1,300 homes in the area. The fire was about 20 percent contained. White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams told the Denver Post first responders were "attacking the fire aggressively."