Additional evacuations ordered for homes near 416 Fire
June 08, 2018 06:28 PM
LA PLATA COUNTY, Colo. - Fire officials say successful burnout operations and retardant drops from the air kept the 416 Fire from reaching any homes in the Hermosa area overnight. However, new evacuation orders have been issued for more than 300 homes on the east and west sides of US 550.
The orders affect those on Electra Lake Drive north to Hermosa Cliffs Road and the north end of Two Dogs Trail. Residents are being told to evacuate no later than 4 p.m. today. An evacuation center and shelter is open at Escalante Middle School in Durango.
Livestock can be taken to the La Plata County Fairgrounds at 2500 Main Avenue. Call 970-385-8700 to help coordinate pick-up of livestock.
Small animals can be taken to the La Plata County Humane Society at 1111 South Camino del Rio in Durango. They can be reached at 970-259-2847.
The fire so far has burned 7,180 acres, jumping more than 2,000 since Thursday evening, an increase fire officials say is due to burnout operations in addition to natural fire growth.
The successful burnout operation was on the south side of the fire. On the west, the fire jumped the Hermosa Creek Trail where crews are relying on information from aircraft on surveillance on the fire's location due to the steep and rugged terrain.
Firefighters should expect winds to be calmer today but the fire danger remains high due to increased temperatures and lower humidity.
Mandatory evacuations and pre-evacuation notices remain in place for the following:
Residences north from Cometti/Mead Lane to the intersection of County Road 250C and U.S. Highway 550.
Residences from Mead/Cometti/Albrecht Lane south to Trimble Lane west from the Animas River to include Falls Creek Ranch, Hidden Meadows, Dalton Ranch north of Trimble Lane and Durango Regency
Those receiving the pre-evacuation notice should do the following to plan and be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice:
Inside the house:
· Gather medications
· Pack a bag with clothing and essentials
· Shut off air conditioning and fans
· Shut all windows and doors before leaving
· If you have time, gather paperwork and photographs that cannot be replaced
Outside the house:
· Gather flammable items and bring them inside (patio furniture, children’s toys, door mats, trash cans, etc.)
· Move propane BBQ appliances away from structures.
· Connect garden hoses to outside water valves or spigots for use by firefighters.
· Fill water buckets and place them around the house.
· Don’t leave sprinklers or water running; this can affect critical water pressure
· Leave exterior lights on so your home is visible to firefighters in the smoke or darkness of night.
· Back your car into the driveway with vehicle loaded and all doors and windows closed. Carry your car keys with you.
· Locate your pets and keep them nearby.
· Prepare livestock for transport and plan to move them to a safe location early
· Pack food and medications for your pets
Southbound US 550 will not reopen on Friday. Officials say they are planning to reopen the corridor Saturday morning, with escorts provided by law enforcement.
The fire has also shut down the historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, which runs through the area, at least through Sunday.
Here are some reminders from the Colorado Department of Transportation:
Travelers are reminded:
- When US 550 is temporarily opened, travel is limited to through traffic only.
- Follow the law enforcement escort vehicle and remain in the east lane. This is a one-lane, alternating traffic configuration. It is important to stay with the escort vehicle so that you do not encounter oncoming traffic or emergency/fire vehicles and equipment.
- Do not pass other vehicles.
- Do not stop in the burn area. Do not stop to take photos.
- No access is available for recreation at lakes, streams or trails in the closure area.
- A width restriction of 10 ft. is in place.
- Motorists departing Silverton should allow for ample time to reach the north closure point before the road is closed at the end of the day.
- When the closure is implemented, travelers may want to consider the westerly alternate route through Colorado Highway 145, Lizard Head Pass.
The Fire is impacting mail delivery. According to a tweet by USPS Colorado, approximately 800 deliveries off of US 550 north of Mead Lane are not able to be made. All mail will be held at the Durango Post Office.
Updated: June 08, 2018 06:28 PM
Created: June 08, 2018 10:13 AM
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