Entire San Juan National Forest To Be Closed To Public


The 416 Fire began June 1 near Durango, Colorado. Authorities are still investigating how the fire started.

Summit Fire said the fuel breaks that already existed are the reason the fire has not spread into the subdivision.

The team fighting the 416 Fire said isolated showers were several days away, and that hot, dry, windy conditions were ripe for spreading the flames on Monday.

Almost 1,400 homes have been evacuated in Summit County, Colorado, and over 1,000 other homes could be in danger as the Buffalo Mountain wildfire burns nearby, according to Summit Fire & EMS. "There's a lot of structures and a lot of people we're trying to move", he said.

More than 1,300 homes had to be evacuated due to the fire and the mandatory evacuations remained in place Wednesday morning.

The National Weather Service Grand Junction warned that new fire starts and extreme fire behavior are possible as a result of the combined threat of gusty winds, low humidity and dry thunderstorms. "We haven't received any information on that yet".

The fire covers more than 23,000 acres, according to the latest updates on federal wildfire database Inciweb. The fire only burned about 100 acres (40.5 hectares) but came dangerously close to two densely populated housing developments.

Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons said at a news conference that he didn't know when the scores of evacuees from the Buffalo fire - name for its proximity to Buffalo Mountain - might be allowed to return home. The closure order is expected to be signed Tuesday, June 12, 2018 and remain in effect until the forest receives sufficient moisture to improve conditions.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The Forest Service will declare a forest-wide Stage 3 fire closure.

"We don't anticipate there being a big push there in that northeastern corner", Knight said.

The situation was better in central Washington, where authorities lifted evacuation orders or warnings for about 50 residents as crews work to contain a wildfire burning grass and brush.

However, officials said that as a result of "anticipated weather-related challenges", such as potential lightning storms, strong downdrafts, and high winds, a new pre-evacuation notice has been issued as a precaution for 163 residences and two businesses along the west side of County Road 203. This means that forest campgrounds, day use areas, roads, and trails will be closed, including wilderness areas, and that hiking, dispersed camping, and other recreational activities are prohibited.