Wildfire near Durango prompts evacuations, highway closure | PostIndependent.com

Wildfire near Durango prompts evacuations, highway closure

By ELIZABETH HERNANDEZ | ehernandez@denverpost.com | The Denver Post
Photo courtesy of La Plata County A fire north of Durango has prompted evacuations and a highway closure on Friday afternoon.
Photo Courtesy of La Plata County

A wildfire 10 miles north of Durango on Friday forced the evacuation of 825 homes as it spread across 1,100 acres.

La Plata County manager Joanne Spina proclaimed a state of local disaster in the unincorporated areas of the county because of the fire and ongoing exceptional drought conditions, according to an update Friday night on the county’s Facebook page.

The blaze, named the 416 fire by authorities, was first reported at 10:02 a.m. Friday along the west side of U.S. 550. U.S. 550 between mile markers 33.5 and 48 will be closed overnight.

Evacuations have been ordered from Rockwood south to Baker’s Bridge west of the Animas River and east of U.S. Highway 550, according to La Plata County. An evacuation center is open at Escalante Middle School, 141 Baker Lane in Durango, and second evacuation site was being prepared at Silverton School, 1160 Snowden St. in Silverton.

Evacuees need to register so they can receive credential to re-enter their homes once the fire has been contained.

Residents from Baker’s Bridge at County Road 250 north to Electra Lake Road are under mandatory evacuation orders.

Another 760 homes from north Electra Lake to Meadow View Drive are under a pre-evacuation notice. The area includes Purgatory, Durango Mountain Resort, Cascade Village, Celadon, Red Tail Mountain Ranch, and Elkhorn Mountain subdivisions. County Road 250 north from Baker’s Bridge is open to local traffic only both directions.

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