Colorado's 416 Wildfire: Durango Warnings Issued As Lightning Storm Threatens New Blazes

Colorado's 416 Wildfire: Durango Warnings Issued As Lightning Storm Threatens New Blazes

"Things are looking really pretty good right now".

In Wyoming near the border with Colorado, about 400 homes have been evacuated because of another fire. Springtime predictions of a wild summer of blazes across the state appear to be proving themselves true - and with a fervor.

Smoke hanging over the Buffalo Mountain Fire as seen from the intersection of Highway 6 and Dillon Dam Road, June 12, 2018.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said the rapid response from emergency crews has helped prevent a repeat of devastating wildfires in 2012 and 2013.

The fire burning in the Medicine Bow National Forest just north of the Colorado state line has destroyed one home and two outbuildings since it was first reported on Sunday. Some evacuees were set to be allowed to return home Wednesday morning.

More than 800 firefighters battled the blaze, which was 10 percent contained, unchanged from Sunday.

All 1.8 million acres (730,000 hectares) of the San Juan National Forest in southwestern Colorado were due to be closed to visitors by Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a statement, citing the fire danger. "We're not out of the woods by any means, but we've been very fortunate there have not been any homes burned or firefighters hurt".

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Almost 1,400 homes have been evacuated in Summit County, Colorado, and over 1,000 other homes could be in danger as the Buffalo Mountain wildfire burns nearby, according to Summit Fire & EMS.

Residents of almost 860 homes were ordered to flee on Sunday, bringing to about 2,000 the number of dwellings placed under evacuation, said spokeswoman Megan Graham for La Plata County, Colorado.

Graham said earlier that 2,162 structures or homes have been evacuated since the beginning of the fire, and 500 residents are now on pre-evacuation.

No structures have been lost since the fire broke out on June 1. They have requested hand crews and a "big air attack", saying they hope to keep the fire from jumping the well-established fire break around Mesa Cortina and Wildernest. They look at factors including moisture levels, fuel levels, weather patterns, fire behavior and daily operations to determine the date.

"The fire grew extremely rapidly", Berino said.

The cause of the blaze, which is being called the 416 Fire, which started June 1 in the San Juan National Forest, has not been determined. Adam Bianchi, the public information officer for White River, said they're seeing "a lot of spotting ahead of the fire" as it heads to areas with heavy fuels.

"It's going to come down to a point there, and that's what we're striving to achieve there, is to get that all nicely brought together", Knight said.

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