Fires And Drought Close Forests In Colorado And New Mexico

Entire San Juan National Forest To Be Closed To Public

Evacuation orders were lifted in the afternoon for 560 residences and 20 businesses in the Rockwood, Tamarron and Glacier Club areas.

Farther south, northeast of Albuquerque, extreme fire danger is also forcing parts of the Cibola National Forest to close to the public starting on Friday, New Mexico fire officials said.

Hot and dry conditions are helping fuel fast-moving wildfires blazing throughout the West.

The 416 fire, just north of Durango, Colo., has forced residents of about 2,000 homes to evacuate since it started June 1.

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.

By Thursday, the blaze burning 67 miles west of Denver had consumed 91 acres and was still growing, thanks to gusty winds, according to Inciweb. Firefighters said Monday that full containment of the 416 Fire was not expected before the end of the month. La Plata County Manager Joanne Spina declared a state of local disaster that day as a result of the fire, which led 1,500 residents to evacuate.

"We went into the street & this is what we saw".

We're told a Moab firefighter's home was among those burned. It comes amid a severe drought in the Four Corners area where Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado meet.

Air resources arrived to help the ground-based fire personnel with the Forest Service, Albany County, and Wyoming State Forestry Division.

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Authorities ordered the residents of 675 homes to evacuate after the fire burning north of Durango almost doubled in size overnight to 26 square miles (67 square kilometers).

There are more than 1,200 firefighters who are trying to put the blaze out.

Due to the extreme fire danger, the U.S. Forest Service closed the entire, almost 3,000-square-mile San Juan National Forest to the public on Tuesday. The goal of the closure is to protect natural resources and public safety due to the danger of wildland fire.

Fires are raging across Colorado, keeping crews busy as they fight to protect homes from flames fueled by drought, tinder-dry air and Rocky Mountain winds.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

A wildfire burning in southern Wyoming has doubled in size in the last 24 hours and has now burned 8.2 square miles (21 square kilometers). It remained 15 percent contained.

The blazes destroyed more than 12,300 homes and other structures.

At this time the cause of the fire is unknown, but the origin of the fire is near Forest Road 501, and between Badger Creek and the North Fork of Pelton Creek.

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