June 13, 2018 (8:00 p.m.)
Special notes: Due to fire activity on the 416 Fire and anticipated weather related challenges (thunderstorms, strong downdrafts, and high winds), a new pre-evacuation notice has been issued as a precaution for 163 residences and 2 businesses along the west side of County Road 203 from Trimble Lane south to its intersection with US Highway 550. Firefighters will work to improve firelines in this area to remain ahead of the power curve in advance of this expected weather event. The evacuated residents of the Tamarron, Glacier Club, and Rockwood neighborhoods were allowed to return home today from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., and remain under pre-evacuation. Any residents who were evacuated and are now under pre-evacuation must show credentials to gain entrance.
A public meeting for the Burro Fire will be held on Thursday, June 14 at the Dolores Community Center, 400 Riverside Avenue.
A stage 3 fire restriction went into place for the entire San Juan National Forest. All public access to the Forest, including trails and roads, is prohibited; however, Ophir Pass remains open. https://www.fs.usda.gov/sanjuan.
Air quality advisories are in place. Significant ash is blowing from the fire eastward. People should take care to protect their respiratory health. http://sjbpublichealth.org/416-fire-updates/.
Weather: Tonight’s weather conditions will be slightly warmer than previous nights, with the possibility of shifting winds and distant lightning. Both fire areas remain in exceptional drought conditions and the Severe Fire Weather Potential is at “High”. Due to the possibility of dry thunderstorms, a Red Flag Warning will be in place for Thursday. The possibility of a wetting rain will be highest on Saturday.
Branch I of the 416 Fire (Divisions H, D, A, E, F, and G): In Division A on the east/southeast side of the fire, crews continued to mop up and worked to remove unneeded equipment from the area. Most smoke today was in Division H on the northwest portion of the fire as the fire aligned with the slopes and encountered heavy fuels. A combination of fixed wing and rotor wing aircraft worked to hold line along Falls Creek Ridge.
Today was the first day that crews worked in newly established Divisions E, F, and G. Firefighters worked to scout firelines in the area, both from the ground and in the air. The alternate fireline is being constructed from the area of Animas Lookout on the west towards Lightener Creek on the east. In the coming days, there is significant planned burnout operations in the area bordered by Junction Creek Rd (171) on the west and Falls Creek Subdivision Rd (CR 205) on the east. Smoke and flames will be seen from Durango and surrounding areas. Updated information will be provided to the public when this operation begins.
Branch III of the 416 Fire (Divisions Z, Y, and X): On the northeast side of the fire, crews worked to mop up and patrol fireline in Division Z. In Division Y, crews continued to scout fireline and prep structures. On the northern end of the fire, in Division X, crews constructed the fireline from the 578 road north into the rock cliffs.
Branch II is the Burro Fire: In Divisions J and N, firefighters constructed direct and indirect fireline above Bear Creek drainage, using existing roads and fuel breaks along the south and southwest sides of the fire. On the north side in Division R, crews worked to access and locate values at risk along the Dolores River.
Closures and Public Safety: US 550 will be open to escorted traffic on Thursday, June 14 from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. from mile marker 32 to 49.5. For up to date information on road closures visit www.cotrip.org. As evacuations are anticipated to continue to change, it is best to check for up to date information on their status. Please contact the La Plata County Emergency Operations Center at 970-385-8700 or visit www.co.laplata.co.us.
Special note: There are still countless recreational opportunities available and southwestern Colorado is open for business. Please see these websites for tourism and recreational opportunities:
La Plata County: https://www.colorado.com/association/la-plata-county
Official Durango Tourism site: https://www.durango.org/
Durango Business Improvement District http://downtowndurango.org/
San Juan County: http://www.sanjuancountycolorado.us/index.html
Silverton, CO Chamber of Commerce: http://www.silvertoncolorado.com/ and other area chambers of commerce