Firefighters work to keep 416 Fire from reaching homes | KOB 4
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Firefighters work to keep 416 Fire from reaching homes

KOB & The Associated Press
June 08, 2018 06:39 AM

DURANGO, Colo. -  A wildfire in southwestern Colorado has forced evacuations and endangered homes in the Hermosa area.

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The 416 Fire has burned 5,103 acres and is encroaching on the town of Hermosa, where residents of nearly 500 homes were told to leave Thursday. 

"I gathered what I could. The other stuff can be replaced,  lives can not," said Zach Martinez. 

In total, more than 1,000 homes have been evacuated, and residents of more than 1,500 homes are on notice to be ready to leave if needed. No buildings have burned so far. Firefighters are working diligently to hold the fire out of residential areas, fighting against critical weather conditions.

Firefighters plan to use prepositioned sprinkler systems, fire hoses, fire engines and aircraft to protect the homes. They also have scouted out places to build fire lines to limit the fire's growth.

Mandatory Evacuations: 

Residences north from Cometti/Mead Lane to the intersection of County Road 250C and U.S. Highway 550.

Pre-evacuations:

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, Durango Regency, Red Rock Range, and Estancia.

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.

Animals:
· 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

Road Closures/Alerts

The south road closure point on US Highway 550 has moved further to the south to accommodate the evacuation orders. The new closure point is at mile marker 32.2 where the train tracks cross the highway just north of Cometti/Mead Lane.

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 also 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.

Credits

KOB & The Associated Press

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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