416 Fire Morning Update
Sunday, July 01, 2018
Joe Reinarz, Incident Commander
Location: 13 Miles N. of Durango, CO
Size: 49,301 (growth of 2,270 acres)
Percent Contained: 37%
Start Date: June 1, 2018
Cause: Under Investigation
Cost to Date: $26, 400,000
Total Personnel: 360
Resources Include: 2 Type 1 hand crews, 4 Type 2 hand crews, 15 engines, 2 dozers
Helicopters: Three Type 1, one Type 2, and three Type 3
Yesterday a passage of a dry cold front allowed incident meteorologists the opportunity to downgrade the Red Flag Warning into a Fire Weather Watch over the fire area. The change in weather pattern caused the fire’s progress to slow to the north and northwest while providing a great opportunity for firefighters on the south and southwest portion to continue firing operations along Forest Road 171. However, the passage of the cold front will cause the wind to switch from a southwest flow to a northwest flow. The northwest flow with winds in the mid teens, will cause an increase in smoke to the communities along the Highway 550 corridor. The southern communities of Hermosa and Durango may feel the biggest impact of smoke as they are at the confluence of the Hermosa Creek and Animas River drainages which allows smoke from the the 416 fire to flow into the lower elevations and directly into the affected communities.
Fire activity is forecast to slightly diminish over the next 24-36 hours with the unstable, yet cooler air mass which is currently located over the westside of the fire. Fire managers are taking advantage of higher humidity, cloud cover and the resulting slightly cooler temperatures to increase firing operations along the western perimeter in Division H. Fire crews continue to use a variety of hand firing methods with aerial support from plastic sphere dispensing helicopters to move towards the final phase of firing operations along the southwestern portion of the fire. It is anticipated that by the end of the day today fire crews will have connected their firing operation along Forest Road 171 to a rock scree field on the eastside of Olga Little Mountain.
With the change in weather conditions, the northern fire spread has also slowed it’s advance to the north, reducing probability of impacting Purgatory Mountain Resort and associated recreational activities. With the overall success on the southern portion of the fire, fire managers now have the opportunity to relocate hotshot crews and wildland fire engines to assist the fire response around the Purgatory Mountain Resort and nearby communities. Firefighter presence will continue to increase along the northern perimeter of the fire over the next few days as fire managers take advantage of the improving fire weather pattern.
With the 4th of July holiday quickly approaching, residents and visitors are encouraged to check local conditions when planning recreation activities around the fire area. An area closure order and fire ban remain in effect to ensure both public and firefighter safety. Accessing trails that connect to the Colorado Trail off of Highway 550 from the Molas Trailhead south to the Junction Creek Trailhead are prohibited and are being patrolled by local law enforcement agencies.
Information Center: 970-403-5326 from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m daily.
Website for 416 Fire: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5822