Utah Homes Burn as Wildfires Menace US West

A satellite image shows the 416 Wildfire burning west of Highway 550 and northwest of Hermosa, Colorado, U.S., June 10, 2018.

After doubling in size from Saturday to Sunday, the wildfire, 13 miles north of the small city of Durango, covered 23,378 acres (9,461 hectares) and was just 15 percent contained, up from 10 percent over the weekend, said Cameron Eck, spokesman for the multi-agency team fighting the fire.

"It's grown substantially since the last mapping and is now much larger", Voos said. Albuquerque Fire Rescue now has listed the fire danger at very high.

Extreme fire danger forced the closure of several national forests, including San Juan National Forest in Colorado.

Crews continued to work along the southwest side of the fire near County Road 205, where the fire is most active.

The weather forecast for the fire area through Thursday calls for south and southwest winds of less than 10 miles per hour, temperatures in the low 80's, and 9 to 12 percent relative humidity.

"It's likely there's a little bit of moisture associated with those storms, but it's going to be primarily dry", Knight said. 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.

San Juan National Forest Supervisor, Kara Chadwick, wants concerned citizens to know that instituting a forest closure is an extremely hard decision, and she is aware that the closure will affect a great many people, businesses, partner agencies, forest management activities, and the public.

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.

All 1.8 million acres of the San Juan National Forest in southwestern Colorado were due to be closed to visitors by Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said, citing the fire danger.

About 50 firefighters were battling the blaze initially, but more were on the way, along with heavy air tankers and helicopters.

The blazes destroyed more than 12,300 homes and other structures. "I called my mom to see if a fire was reported, and she said there was and that we need to get off the mountain".

Because of possible thunderstorms, that National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning this morning for the areas around the fires. "It won't be until Tuesday before the winds really die down". Forests are also closed in Arizona and New Mexico in areas that are suffering from a severe drought.

  • Joey Payne