Growing 416 wildfire near Durango ‘going to get worse before it gets better’
June 11, 2018
The fast-growing fire prompted a raft of new mandatory evacuation orders Sunday affecting 675 homes, including some at Purgatory Resort, signaling that fire officials expect the fire to spread north and east.
— Hank Blum (@hankblum) June 11, 2018
Residents of a total of 2,156 homes have been ordered to evacuate as of Sunday afternoon, La Plata County spokeswoman Megan Graham told The Durango Herald.
Incident commander Todd Pechota told evacuated residents Saturday that the situation is "going to get worse before it gets better," the Herald reported.
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No homes have been lost to the fire, which is 10 percent contained.
The blaze started June 1 in the San Juan National Forest, and the cause has not been determined. It comes amid a severe drought in the Four Corners area where Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado meet.
The fire is the largest of several burning in Colorado, including another fire that broke out nearby Friday. Firefighters were able to respond quickly to another fire that started Saturday near Wolcott. Authorities there are asking for the public's help looking for three men seen leaving the area where it started.
Fire officials have been expecting a busy wildfire season after a dry winter, possibly the worst since 2012-13, when the Black Forest Fire in El Paso County destroyed nearly 500 homes, the most in state history.
The Denver Post contributed to this report. Read the full story here.