Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Winds fanning Colorado wildfires won’t die down until Tuesday: NWS

Winds fanning Colorado wildfires won’t die down until Tuesday: NWS

Residents affected by Friday's order had until 4 comply so firefighters can check the advance of the northeast flank of the fire.

Torching and crown runs were reported as the fire crossed the Jones Creek Trail and the Hermosa Creek Trail, but not the Hermosa Creek drainage.

A mandatory evacuation order was issued on Sunday for 859 residences, bringing the total number of homes under evacuation to about 2,000, La Plata County, Colorado, spokeswoman Megan Graham said. So far firefighters have been able to keep it west of Highway 550, and until Friday it was east of Hermosa Creek.

"This indicates that there is a high potential for extreme fire behavior, intensity and growth", the new release read.

Firefighters will continue to patrol along USA 550 to mop up hot spots and keep the flames west of the highway and away from structures.

The fire is about a quarter of a mile from the nearest house, and fire officials said structure protection is in place.

Along with the fixed wing aircraft, four Type I helicopters, two Type II helicopters and two Type III helicopters will fight the fire from the air.

The fire started June 1 in the San Juan National Forest but the cause hasn't been determined.

Low humidity and high winds have left firefighters bracing for the fire to spread and the weather was expected to be dry and windy on Sunday.

The fire has ravaged much of Ute Park in Colfax County, New Mexico, putting more than 300 properties at risk. Crews underwent a successful burnout operation on the southwest side of the fire overnight that lasted until midnight, Eaby said. Officials are preparing to battle the blaze for a long time, said Shawn Bawden, a fire information officer. No structures had been lost as of Friday morning.

The so-called 416 Fire in southwest Colorado had burned almost 17,000 acres (6,880 hectares) by Sunday afternoon, an area larger than Manhattan.

The Disaster Assistance Center at the La Plata County Fairgrounds in Durango will be open from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Monday.

Weather conditions will continue to be challenging.

Around 1,625 people have been evacuated from their homes since the blaze began, and 304 more homes were reportedly abandoned yesterday.

As the weather persists, La Plata County commissioners will meet at 10 a.m. Tuesday to consider enacting Stage 3 fire restrictions. Gusts are expected to be between 15-20 miles per hour at the fire, and Durango is expecting a high of 84 degrees, said Michael Charnick with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.

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