Weather makes fighting 416 Fire tough

Durango fire updates: How many people have been evacuated? What causes a wildfire?

More evacuations ordered for the "416 Fire" north of Durango

No structures have been destroyed so far, but the fire was a few hundred yards (meters) from homes with multiple aircraft dropping water and flame retardant to curtail the blaze, according to Inciweb, an interagency fire report.

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.

Sunday morning started off with more evacuations.

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 mandatory order was issued Sunday morning for 675 residences in Purgatory/Durango Mountain Resort, Lake Purgatory, Silver Pick Lodge, Cascade Village, Mill Creek and all residences on both sides of U.S. Highway between mile markers 46.5 to 53.1. Stage 3 restrictions would result in a closure of the San Juan National Forest, said Kara Chadwick, San Juan National Forest supervisor.

The 416 fire north of Durango grew by 1,511 acres overnight Friday, totaling almost 8,700 acres with 10 percent containment, officials said Saturday. For now the fire's area is located west of the highway and hasn't crossed to the east side, which is more heavily populated, Bawden said.

A red flag warning was in place from 10 a.m.to 10 p.m. Sunday.

No structures have been lost. Winds are expected to increase throughout the week.

Critical weather conditions are expected during the weekend. It was 10 percent contained.

For up-to-date information on evacuation status, you are asked to call the La Plata County Emergency Operations Center at (970) 385-8700. Durango was operating an evacuation center and a shelter and taking in livestock at the La Plata County Fairgrounds.

Residents affected by Friday's order had until 4 p.m.to comply so firefighters can check the advance of the northeast flank of the fire. Small animals are being accepted at the La Plata County Humane Society, 1111 South Camino del Rio, Durango (970) 259-2847.

There were no new burn-area updates early on Monday for the so-called 416 Fire in southwest Colorado but, according to the last update, it had burned almost 17,000 acres (6,880 hectares) by Sunday evening, an area larger than Manhattan.

Another wildfire, the Burro fire, was burning about 13 miles west of the 416 fire through the San Juan National Forest in Montezuma County, causing campers in the area to be evacuated.

Officials have restricted access to parts of Highway 550, which includes a scenic stretch known as the Million Dollar Highway.

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