UPDATE- JUNE 10: From CDOT as of noon 6/10/18: The north US 550 closure point has been moved from Cascade to the summit of Molas Pass approximately six miles south of Silverton. The full US 550 closure is from Hermosa (MP 32) to Molas Pass (MP 64).
Updated Statistics, 9:00 a.m. June 10:
Size: 16,766 acres
Total Personnel: 813
Resources Include: Nine Type 1 hand cre2s, 11 Type 2 hand crews, 44 engines, five dozers, four water tenders
Helicopeter: Four Type 1, two Type 2, two Type 3
Percent Contained: 10 percent
Cause: Under Investigation
UPDATE: JUNE 8: 416 FIRE UPDATE: US 550 is CLOSED north of Durango for the remainder of the day. The early closure is due to increased fire activity. The highway is expected to re-open tomorrow (Saturday, June 9), 8 AM to 6 PM. However, motorists are advised that fire or evacuation activity could close the highway at any time. Travelers may want to consider the westerly alternate route through CO 145, Lizard Head Pass.
UPDATE: JUNE 4: Due to the 416 Fire, the Hermosa Creek Watershed and adjacent lands along US Highway 550 are closed to public entry. With on-going aerial firefighting operations and unknown future fire activity, the closure is necessary to protect public health and safety and provide for firefighter safety during fire operations. The highway is open to single lane, escort only from mile markers 35.5-43.5, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. just north of Durango.Over 2,500 acres have burned, causing evacuations and low visibility and health concerns due to smoky, hazy air. The highway could be closed at any time during the day depending on conditions.
To receive emergency notifications, including evacuation and pre-evacuation notices, on your cell phone or via email: bit.ly/CodeRed_signup. La Plata County Code Red https://tinyurl.com/y72ymwr8 La Plata County website http://co.laplata.co.us/ La Plata County Sheriff’s Office http://lpcso.org/ City of Durango http://www.durangogov.org/ Durango Fire Rescue http://www.durangofirerescue.org/ Colorado State Patrol https://www.colorado.gov/csp For more information and updates, go to https://www.facebook.com/SanJuanNF/ @LaPlataCounty on Facebook or @LaPlataCountyCO on Twitter for continual updates. Information: Jim Mackensen ((530) 701-1437, Megan Graham (970) 749-7684, Lucinda Nolan (541) 728-1999
ORIGINAL STORY POSTED JUNE 1: On Friday morning, a fire broke out at appoximately 10:00 a.m. just 10 miles north of Durango. The "416" fire is burning on the west side of State Highway 550 on private land and has burned onto the San Juan National Forest. As of Saturday morning, the fire has not jumped US 550 to the east, but has grown to over 1,100 acres to the north. The fire is threatening hundreds of residences in the US 550 corridor forcing the evacuations of 1500 people. Multiple Federal and Local firefighters are fighting this fire along with helicopters and air tankers. The area is under Red Flag Warnings through tonight with continued hot, dry, windy weather the next several days. The fire is burning in grass, brush, and timber.
According to reports from La Plata County and Colorado Department of Transporation, US 550 was closed north of Durango to Silverton Friday, and it remained closed as of Saturday morning as the fire spread to approximately 1,000 acres. Fire crews from U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Durango Fire Protection District and Upper Pine Fire Protection District are on scene, along with 15 air resources including single engine and heavy tankers, and multiple helicopters, with more resources on order.
An evacuation center is open at Escalante Middle School at 141 Baker Lane in Durango; a second evacuation site will open at the Silverton School, 1160 Snowden St., in Silverton. Ouray School opened its doors for evacuees on Friday. County manager Joanne Spina proclaimed a state of local disaster in the unicorporated areas of La Plata County, activating the response and recovery aspects of any and all applicable local and inter-jurisdictional disaster emergency plans.
Through traffic attempting to travel north- or southbound between Ridgway and Durango, should continue to CONSIDER WESTERLY ALTERNATE ROUTE, via CO 145 Lizard Head Pass: - CO 62 Ridgway to Placerville - CO 145 Placerville to Dolores - CO 184 Dolores to Mancos - US 160 Mancos to Durango
La Plata County has been classified in "exceptional drought" conditions, the highest lever of all five drought levels. Snowpack in the Animas River basin was less than 40 percent of average, and measurements this week indicate southwest Colorado's snowpack is at 3 percent of historic average. La Plata County went into Stage II fire restrictions Thursday.
This report was taken from public information provided by La Plata County and CDOT. See co.laplata.co.us or cdot.gov for updated information.