Sunday, 24 June, 2018

Driving winds fan Colorado wildfire, 2,000 homes under evacuation

The Buffalo Fire west of Denver is only 100 acres but officials have told thousands of residents to evacuate The Buffalo Fire west of Denver is only 100 acres but officials have told thousands of residents to evacuate
Steven Clarke | 14 June, 2018, 19:15

There also is an exception in the Sandia district for Foothills Trail No. 365, the Sandia Peak Tram and the Sandia Ranger District Administrative site, which includes the Tijeras Pueblo, trail, programs and facilities, forest officials said in a news release.

"If, for example, someone was out bike riding and got injured, our resources are tied up with the fire", Blake said.

He said the early investigation has ruled out natural causes for the blaze that ignited near a creek that is frequently used as a walkway in a largely blue-collar neighborhood.

At about noon, the fire was reported at 91 acres, as firefighters said there was rapid growth.

Colorado's largest blaze also kept burning in the San Juan National Forest, which has been closed to the public to try to prevent additional fires. A pre-evacuation notice is in effect for the community of Foxborough.

As of 9 p.m. Sunday, the fire was roughly estimated at 100 acres and there is no containment.

Firefighters in Summit County are dealing with dry conditions and gusty winds as they battle the Buffalo Mountain Fire.

Part of the reason the fire is burning so rapidly is that there are lodgepole pines that have been damaged by pine beetles in the area, and the wood is burning easier than healthy trees.

A Type 2 Incident Management Team was ordered Monday afternoon. The Ute Fire has burned 36,740 acres.

Entire San Juan National Forest To Be Closed To Public

A similarly sized fire past year took months to finish burning.

Residents of almost 860 homes were ordered to flee on Sunday, bringing to about 2,000 the number of dwellings placed under evacuation, said spokeswoman Megan Graham for La Plata County, Colorado. Multiple communities and private property in-holdings are within a five mile radius of the fire.

Voos says 393 homes in the area have been evacuated since the fire in the Medicine Bow National Forest was first reported on Sunday.

Fire crews finally have a handle on the Ute Park blaze burning in northern New Mexico, which has burned more than 57 square miles.

Evacuees are being asked to check in at the Harmony School off Wyoming Highway 230.

Because so much of the West's economy depends on tourists who hike, fish and camp on public lands, private businesses are eyeing the closures with concern.

Assistant City Manager Amber Blake said another big reason the city is proposing to close its open space is because resources such as EMS personnel are tied up with the wildfires. 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.

The latest updates on the fire can be found at InciWeb and the Forest Service Twitter.

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