Fighting the 416 Fire takes a massive team effort | KOB 4
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Fighting the 416 Fire takes a massive team effort

Joshua Panas
June 12, 2018 10:51 PM

LA PLATA CO., C.O. - More than 900 firefighters and dozens more workers and volunteers are doing everything they can to prevent the spread of the 416 Fire near Durango.

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Right now, Highway 550 is closed to traffic, but fire authorities agreed to take KOB's Erica Zucco behind the lines to see how firefighters are protecting homes and preventing the fire’s spread.

“In the last 48 hours, there’s been a lot less fire activity which is really a good sign for us,” said 416 Fire Public Information Officer Shawn Bawden.

That gives crews time to patrol the woods, mop up hotspots, search for flare-ups, and clear trees and brush that could serve as fuel for the 416 Fire.

Crews in the Electra Lake subdivision say they’re using fuel mitigation and other techniques to prevent the spread of fire.

“If we get fire introduced in the urban interface it's to lower the intensity and the impact of all the heat on homes, structures, anything like that,” said Preston Glaisyer of the Forest Service.

While much of the work happens in the field, other work begins at the command post for the Rocky Mountain Type 1 Incident Team takes command.

“(It's) One of the most experienced teams in the country,” said Bawden.

There, experts in various fields hold daily briefings and provide services for firefighters and the firefight. That includes medical care, if needed.

Currently, firefighters are in “full suppression mode,” focusing on firefighter and public safety and preventing the fire’s potential spread to structures.

416 Fire evacuation orders to be lifted in San Juan County Wednesday

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Joshua Panas

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

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