Durango wildfire forces evacuations | SummitDaily.com

Durango wildfire forces evacuations

Craig Fischer with Durango Fire & Rescue Authority, walks down the line after helping clear brush at the Test Track Fire in Durango, Colo., on Saturday, May 20, 2006. The fire was estimated at 8 to 10 acres, and firefighters were hoping to have it fully contained before sunset, said Dave Imming of the Durango Fire and Rescue Authority. (AP Photo/The Durango Herald, Rebecca Droke)

DURANGO – A 10-acre wildfire burning on the western edge of Durango prompted officials to evacuate a dozen homes for about two hours Saturday before the fire was contained.The fire in Durango Mountain Park, an area popular with hikers and bikers, sent plumes of smoke 100 feet into the air.Investigators believe the fire started near a large concrete slab once used to support a television antenna, said Dave Imming, a spokesman for the Durango Fire & Rescue Authority. It was reported around 1:30 p.m.The flames spread amid winds measured at 13 mph with gusts up to 26 mph at the Durango-La Plata County Airport, according to the National Weather Service. The high temperature Saturday was 83 degrees, with an average humidity of 33 percent.Four years ago, the Missionary Ridge fire burned 70,000 acres northeast of town.”This is kind of a freaky reminder of four years ago, unfortunately,” said Stacy Lewis, who ran into a house to save a woman’s dog and other belongings.With winds calming down and with the fire burning away from homes, residents were allowed to return.”I would say that the potential for a lot more damage and destruction was there,” Imming said. “The weather was fairly friendly to us today. But the conditions are dry and just getting drier.

“I can’t say this is surprising,” he added. “The city is expanding. We’re getting into more wilderness areas. The fire just happened to breakout in city limits.”The cause of the fire was under investigation.No homes were burned, and no injuries were reported.

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