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FireWise Wildfire Community
Preparedness Workshop

Wed, May 23, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Silverton City Hall, 1360 Greene St
Silverton, CO 81433, USA (map)
Public presentation by Firewise on
wildfire community preparedness

 

Dolores Watershed and Resilient Forest
DWaRF) Collaborative meeting

Wed, June 6, 1:30pm – 3:30pm
Dolores Water Conservancy District
60 Cactus St, Cortez  (map)

 

MC FireWise Meeting
Tues, June 12, 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Location TBD

 

Bridging the Divide:
Growing from the Ashes

Fri, June 22, 5pm – Sat, June 23, 3pm
Wolf Creek Ski Area, Hwy 160 E,
Pagosa Springs, CO (map)

 

Missionary Ridge Fire 2002Fire Mtigation work
Firewise Southwest Colorado at the Durango Farmer's Market

416 Fire Updates

 

As of 4:50 on 6/1/2018, all updates FireWise receives on the 416 Fire will be added here. Please see past news for previous updates. 

Visit us on Facebook for more content 

Official 416 Fire Daily Updates & Current Map: Facebook

InciWeb- Incident Information System


Tamarron, Glacier Club & Rockwood residents may return home beginning at 2 p.m.
From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, evacuated residents
of Rockwood, Tamarron and Glacier Club subdivisions
may return home. In order to enter these areas, residents
must show their RapidTag credentials, which are
available at Trimble Crossing at the intersection of U.S.
Highway 550 and Trimble Lane, Escalante Middle
School, 141 Baker Lane in Durango, and at the
highway’s northern closure point at mile marker 49.5.
These subdivisions will remain under pre-evacuation
orders, and residents will be subject to the limited
opening hours of U.S. Highway 550, which will close
Wednesday at 6 p.m. The highway is scheduled to be
open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, with law
enforcement escort.
Entrances to Rockwood, Tamarron and Glacier Club will
be open to residents with credentials only, with law
enforcement staffing those entrances. Law enforcement
escorts for through traffic on U.S. Highway will continue
during the re-entry period.
To receive emergency notifications, including
evacuation and pre-evacuation notices, on your cell
phone or via email: bit.ly/CodeRed_signup.

###


 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                     June 12, 2018    5:35 pm
For more information,
please contact Megan Graham at (970)749-7684

416 Fire evacuation order for residents in San Juan County will lift at 8 a.m. Wednesday

 

June 12, 2018    2:06 pm             

Due to current and predicted fire behavior and press made by firefighters working of the 416 Fire, the residents of San Juan County who have been evacuated due will be allowed to return to their homes beginning at 8 a.m. on Wednesday.  Residents returning home will need to present the Rapid Tag resident credentials to be allowed back in.  The residences in San Juan County will remain on pre-evacuation notice. 

Beginning at noon on Wednesday, U.S. Highway 550 will reopen to escorted traffic until 6 p.m.  The northern closure point will move from Molas Pass (mile marker 64) to mile marker 49.5 just north of Purgatory.

As firefighters continue to make progress on the east side of the fire, additional re-entries will be evaluated in La Plata County.  Please contact the community hotline at (970)385-8700 if you have questions.

Please follow @416fire and @LaPlataCounty on Facebook or @LaPlataCountyCO on Twitter for continual updates.

please contact Megan Graham at (970)749-7684
Board of County Commissioners enact Stage 3 fire restrictions Tuesday,

effective immediately

In the interest of public health, safety and welfare, the La Plata County Board of County Commissioners
enacted Stage 3 fire restrictions, effective immediately. This action, which increases the level of fire
restrictions in unincorporated areas of the county, was enacted as a result of the increasing fire danger and
drought conditions that gave rise to the Stage 1 and Stage 2 fire conditions. The 416 Fire, which ignited
on June 1, has hundreds of firefighters assigned, a Type I Incident Management Team, and is still only
15% contained. Resources are limited in the county with local fire department personnel being assigned
to the 416 Fire. Fuels are extremely dry and humidity is very low. These Stage 3 measures that the
public must take to help eliminate additional fire danger are vital for the safety and welfare of our County.
The La Plata County Sheriff, acting as Fire Marshal, and the Chiefs of the Durango Fire Protection
District, Upper Pine River Fire Protection District, Los Pinos Fire Protection and Fort Lewis Mesa Fire
Protection District have recommend the imposition of Stage 3 fire closures and restrictions upon the land
owned by La Plata County and in the unincorporated areas of La Plata County, excluding Federal and
Tribal lands. The enactment of the Stage 3 closures/restrictions is also supported by the Forest Supervisor
of the San Juan National Forest. In addition to maintaining previous restrictions, Stage 3 will add the
following additional closures/restrictions/ prohibitions:
1. The closure of all La Plata County owned trails, encampments, open space, and
unimproved lands.
2. Those agricultural producers exempt from fire bans pursuant to C.R.S. §§ 30-15-
401(n.5)(III) and 35-28-104(11) may perform agricultural burning only with 48 hours
prior notification to the appropriate fire chief or the Sheriff.
3. Indoor fire places and wood-burning stoves without an approved interior and exterior
chimney spark arrestor.
4. The sale, discharge or use of any kind of firework or other pyrotechnic device (including 4 th
of July celebrations).
5. The use of floating sky lanterns, fire balloons or acetylene balloons.
6. Discharge of firearms or the use of exploding targets, unless under the circumstances
described in C.R.S. § 30-15-302.
7. Blasting in development areas or construction areas.
8. The use of an explosive, blasting caps, or any other incendiary device, including the
use of any model rockets.
9. Flaring for oil and gas production wells.
10. Operation of coal-fired steam engines.
Carryover restrictions from Stage 2 include:

1. Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, stove fire, including but not
limited to charcoal grills, coal or wood or propane burning stoves and firepits,
sheepherder’s stoves, unless the specific devices uses pressurized liquid or gas, and
includes a shut-off valve.
2. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, trailer, or building.
3. Welding, pipefitting, metal grinding, or operating an acetylene or other torch with open
flame unless the following requirements are met: written authorization of the appropriate
fire chief or the Sheriff of La Plata County, a twenty-foot radius safe zone free of
vegetation and all flammable materials, and in addition to the equipment operator, a fire
watch individual equipped with one (1) 2 ½ gallon pressurized fire extinguisher or a 5lb.
ABC extinguisher or a pressurized water supply and proper hand tools must be readily
available and on-site to watch for fires.
4. Oil and gas welding and cutting operations, which are required to comply with the
requirements of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Rules for Fire
Prevention and Production, Rule 606A(o), may only be conducted within a 20-foot radius
safe zone that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials and with authorization of
the appropriate fire chief or the Sheriff of La Plata County.
5. Operating or using any internal combustion engine, including but not limited to
chainsaws, generators and all-terrain vehicles, unless equipped with a spark arresting
device properly installed, maintained, and an effective working order meeting either
Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Standard 5100-1a or Society of Automotive
Engineers (SAE) recommended practice J335(b) and J350 (a).
6. Operating a chainsaw, unless a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher of not less than 8
ounces capacity by weight is in the operator’s immediate vicinity, and one size 0 or larger
round, pointed shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches is with fueling supplies
and is readily available.

Certain exemptions apply to these prohibitions. They include:
1. Any federal, state or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the
performance of an official duty.
2. Flaring at centralized processing and compressing facilities is permitted so long as all conditions
and requirements issued by applicable regulators are satisfied;
3. Emergency repair of public utilities.
4. Fires permitted by the Sheriff or local Fire Chiefs within their jurisdiction, if, in their
professional opinions, such action is appropriate, safe and prudent.

The fire restrictions will go into effect immediately upon approval by the Board and will apply to the
unincorporated areas of La Plata County, excluding those private lands in the Towns of Bayfield and
Ignacio, City of Durango or any Federal and Tribal Lands.
There are four fire districts in La Plata County. For specific information about the fire restrictions,
contact your local fire department:
? Durango Fire Protection District (for properties in the Animas valley corridor from the north
county line to New Mexico), call 382-6000;
? Upper Pine Fire Protection District (for properties east of Bayfield north to Vallecito), call
884-9508;
? Fort Lewis Mesa Fire Protection District (for properties in west La Plata County surrounding
Hesperus to the Colorado/New Mexico state line on Highway 140), call 238-0115; or
? Los Pinos Fire Protection District (for properties in the southeast corner of La Plata County and
surrounding Ignacio), please call 563-9501.

For specific questions relating to the 416 Fire, there is a community hotline at 970-385-8700.
The fire restrictions will remain in effect until such time as the threat of fire danger in La Plata
County has reduced significantly, as determined by Sheriff Smith and local fire chiefs.
During these exceptional drought conditions, emergency notifications regarding fire and other
incidents can provide citizens with critical information. Sign up for CodeRED to receive
evacuation notices and other updates via cell phone or email: http://bit.ly/CodeRed_signup.


 

June 10, 2018

please contact Megan Graham at (970)749-7684                                       

 

 

416 Fire prompts evacuation of Purgatory, Lake Purgatory, Silver Pick Lodge, Cascade Village north to mile marker 53.1

 

A mandatory evacuation order was issued this morning for 675 residences in Purgatory/Durango Mountain Resort, Lake Purgatory, Silver Pick Lodge, Cascade Village, Mill Creek and all residences on both sides of U.S. Highway between mile markers 46.5 to 53.1.  Law enforcement officials began notifying residents door to door at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, and a CodeRED notification has been sent to residents. Residents must evacuate the area as soon as possible.

                                       

U.S. Highway 550 will close indefinitely to through traffic from the San Juan County line to Cometti Lane at mile marker 32. Evacuees will be escorted through the closure zone. There is also a closure point at Silverton.

 

An evacuation center and shelter is open 24 hours a day at Escalante Middle School, 141 Baker Lane, in Durango. Evacuated residents are asked to check in at the evacuation center to receive credentials for re-entry when conditions allow the evacuation order to be lifted. Resident credentials are also available at the La Plata County Fairgrounds, 2500 Main Ave. in Durango.

 

Livestock can be evacuated to the La Plata County Fairgrounds at 2500 Main Avenue. The emergency call center at (970) 385-8700 can help coordinate pick-up of livestock. Small animals are being accepted at the La Plata County Humane Society, 1111 South Camino del Rio, Durango (970) 259-2847.

 

To receive emergency notifications, including evacuation and pre-evacuation notices, on your cell phone or via email: bit.ly/CodeRed_signup.  


June 7, 2018
5:13 pm                                             

 

 

416 Fire triggers new evacuations, pre-evacuations; CR 203 closed north of Cometti 

 

 

The 416 Fire was measured at 5,103 acres Thursday morning and containment held steady at 10%. There were 617 firefighters assigned to the fire. All evacuation and pre-evacuation orders issued Friday, Sunday, and Tuesday remain in effect or have expanded to mandatory evacuation. The Rocky Mountain Type 1 Incident Management Team is assembling in the area to take command of the fire.

 

A mandatory evacuation order was issued Thursday for 497 residences in the Hermosa area north from Cometti/Mead Lane to the intersection of County Road 250C and U.S. Highway 550. Law enforcement officials notified residents door to door beginning at 6 a.m. Thursday, and a CodeRED notification has been sent to residents.

 

On Thursday, a pre-evacuation notice was issued for 751 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.

                                       

U.S. Highway 550 was closed Thursday morning until evacuations were completed. The highway reopened to through traffic only from noon until 6 p.m. The southern road block for the highway closure area moved to the 32.2 mile marker. County Road 203 is closed north of Mead/Cometti/Albrecht Lane.

 

U.S. Highway 550 is scheduled to reopen from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, with law enforcement pilot vehicles escorting through-traffic through the closed area.  The limited opening is subject to change at any moment, with the potential for rapidly changing fire behavior.

 

The fire was reported at 10:02 a.m. Friday, June 1 about 10 miles north of Durango on the west side of U.S. Highway 550. The Rocky Mountain Type II Incident Management Team Blue assumed command of the 416 Fire at 6 a.m. Sunday.

 

In addition to the evacuation order issued Thursday, residents from Baker’s Bridge at County Road 250 north to Electra Lake Road are under mandatory evacuation orders. This affects approximately 825 residential structures. County Road 250 north from Baker’s Bridge is open to local traffic only, in both directions. 

 

 Pre-evacuation notices are in place for residents and businesses from Electra Lake Road north to Meadow View Drive.  This includes residents on Electra Lake Road, Purgatory, Durango Mountain Resort, Cascade Village, Celadon, Red Tail Mountain Ranch, Elkhorn Mountain, Pine Acres, and Animas Village neighborhoods and subdivisions. This affects approximately 1,373 residential and commercial structures in La Plata and San Juan counties.

 

On Wednesday, a pre-evacuation notice was issued for 34 residences in San Juan County, north of Cascade Village. This includes Cascade Creek Summer Homes, Mill Creek Lodge Estates, and all properties between mile markers 50 and 54 on U.S. Highway 550.

 

An evacuation center and shelter is open 24 hours a day at Escalante Middle School, 141 Baker Lane in Durango.  A second evacuation check-in site is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at the Silverton Town Hall, 1360 Greene Street in Silverton. Those affected by evacuations must check in at an evacuation site to receive resident credentials. This is crucial for preparedness, identifying and securing resources for evacuees, and for return access when fire conditions become safe. Evacuees who have received residential credentials can visit the Durango Food Bank, 194 Bodo Dr., Suite C, (970) 375-2672, for food and supplies.

 

Livestock can be evacuated to the La Plata County Fairgrounds at 2500 Main Avenue. The emergency call center at (970) 385-8700 can help coordinate livestock transport. Small animals are being accepted at the La Plata County Humane Society, 1111 S. Camino del Rio, Durango (970) 259-2847. No pets are allowed at the Silverton shelter. Arrangements for pets evacuated north of the fire will be made in Ridgeway.

 

The primary goal for the 416 Fire management is to safeguard lives and property in affected areas. Fires are very dangerous places for responders to operate. For the following reasons, evacuations remain in place to allow for safe and effective fire operations:

  • Reduced visibility requires keeping roadways closed for hundreds of personnel to safely operate and rapidly respond to changing fire needs.
  • Minimizing hazards and enhancing access is essential in order to maintain the high pace of work in this dangerous environment.
  • Air operations are similarly dangerous. With multiple aircraft operating on the fire, it is imperative for safety to minimize ground hazards.
  • Wildland fire conditions change extremely rapidly. Keeping residents out of harm’s way until hazards can be resolved is essential to allow responders and resources to focus on containment and mitigation of fire hazards.

Again, safeguarding lives and property are the primary goal. Please continue to exercise patience, cooperation, and understanding as responders take on risk to protect our community.

 

While fire and support teams greatly appreciate community support, all food and equipment needs are met at this time and the interagency effort cannot accept additional donations of materials. The Community Foundation is currently receiving donations for the Community Emergency Relief Fund (CERF).  This fund is set up for broad-based community emergencies in Southwest Colorado. To donate to CERF, you can send a check to The Community Foundation, P.O. Box 1673, Durango, CO 81302 or donate online at www.swcommunityfoundation.org

For those who received a pre-evacuation notice, the following steps can improve your safety and expedite departure should an evacuation become necessary. San Juan Basin Public Health also has extensive resources to plan for evacuation and emergencies: https://sjbpublichealth.org/epr/.

 

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

 

County Manager Joanne Spina proclaimed a state of local disaster in the unincorporated areas of La Plata County, pursuant to her authority as chief executive officer of La Plata County. Spina’s proclamation is due to the 416 Fire, ongoing exceptional drought conditions, and the potential for additional wildfires in the 2018 fire season.  The La Plata County Board of County Commissioners extended this proclamation of the state of local disaster for an additional 60 days on Tuesday, June 5.

 

The effect of this declaration is to activate the response and recovery aspects of any and all applicable local and inter-jurisdictional disaster emergency plans and to authorize the furnishing of aid and assistance under those plans.

 

This winter, snowfall in the Animas River basin was less than 40% of average, and this week, Southwest Colorado's snowpack is just 3% of historic average.  We have been experiencing above-average temperatures, hot dry winds with low humidity and very little rain this spring.  As of May 29, the weather station at the Durango-La Plata County Airport had recorded 1.41 inches of precipitation in 2018, nearly 4 inches below the historic average for that time period. 

 

In April, these factors prompted La Plata County to be classified in “exceptional drought” conditions – the most intense of five drought levels.  These drought conditions have persisted and the fuels (grass, brush and trees) in La Plata County are extremely dry and can produce explosive fire growth and behavior. 

 

On Thursday, the La Plata County Board of County Commissioners enacted Stage II fire restrictions that build on the Stage I restrictions that were adopted by the Board of County Commissioners on May 2. The Stage II restrictions prohibit the following activities:

 

  • A complete ban of open burning, burn barrels and agricultural burning except for the very limited agriculture burning as provided for in C.R.S. 30-15-401(n.5)(III) and defined in C.R.S. 35-28-104(11). 

 

  • Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, stove fire, including but not limited to charcoal grills, coal or wood burning stoves, or sheepherder’s stoves, unless the specific device uses pressurized liquid or gas and includes a shut-off valve (such as a gas grill).

 

  • Smoking, unless within an enclosed vehicle, trailer, or building.

 

  • Welding, pipefitting, metal grinding, or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame unless the following requirements are met: a 20-foot radius safe zone free of vegetation and all flammable materials, and in addition to the equipment operator, a fire watch individual equipped with one 2 ½ gallon pressurized fire extinguisher or a five-pound ABC extinguisher or a pressurized water supply and proper hand tools must be readily available and on-site to watch for fires.

 

  • Oil and gas welding and cutting operations, which are required to comply with the requirements of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Rules for Fire Prevention and Production, Rule 606A(o), may only be conducted within a 20-foot radius safe zone that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials; and

 

  • Operating or using any internal combustion engine, including but not limited to chainsaws, generators and all-terrain vehicles, unless equipped with a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained, and in effective working order meeting either Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Standard 5100-1a or Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) recommended practice J335(b) and J350 (a); and 

 

  • Operating a chainsaw, unless a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher of not less than 8 ounces capacity by weight is in the operator’s immediate vicinity, and one size 0 or larger round, pointed shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches is with fueling supplies and is readily available; and  

 

  • Using an explosive, including but not limited to fireworks, blasting caps, or any other incendiary device. Public fireworks displays for Independence Day will be permitted if they are under the control of local fire departments or licensed fireworks professionals and approved by the local authority having jurisdiction. Blasting in development areas or construction areas with continuous fire watch will be permitted with written authorization of the appropriate fire chief or the sheriff of La Plata County, whomever has jurisdiction; and

 

  • Flaring for oil and gas production wells and production facilities may be allowed with approval from the designated fire chief (or his designee) for that district, or in the event no fire district exists for the location of the proposed flaring, the La Plata County Director of the Office of Emergency Management. Any flaring from established gas processing plants or facilities is exempted.

 

Please sign up to receive emergency notifications, including evacuation and pre-evacuation notices, on your cell phone or via email: bit.ly/CodeRed_signup.

 

Please follow @416fire and @LaPlataCounty on Facebook or @LaPlataCountyCO on Twitter for continual updates.

 

###


 

 

 

 

 


June 7, 2018
9:13 am

Pre-evacuation notice issued from Cometti Lane to Trimble Lane from Animas River
west to Falls Creek Ranch

 

The 416 Fire’s path in the Hermosa Creek drainage has prompted a pre-evacuation notice for 751 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

 

A CodeRED notification was sent to residents and businesses in the pre-evacuation area and law enforcement personnel are sharing the information door to door.

 

For those who receive a pre-evacuation notice, the following steps can improve your safety and expedite departure should an evacuation become necessary. San Juan Basin Public Health also has extensive resources to plan for evacuation and emergencies: https://sjbpublichealth.org/epr/

 

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

 

To receive emergency notifications, including evacuation and pre-evacuation notices, on your cell phone or via email: bit.ly/CodeRed_signup.

##


June 7, 2018    8:35 am

416 Fire behavior prompts evacuation of Hermosa area north to CR250/Highway 550

 

A mndatory evacuation will begin at 6 a.m. Thursday for residences in the pre-evacuated Hermosa area north from Cometti/Mead Lane to the intersection of County Road 250C and U.S. Highway 550. Residents may stay tonight, but will be evacuated in the morning. Law enforcement officials will be notifying residents door to door beginning at 6 a.m. Thursday, and a CodeRED notification has been sent to residents.

                                       

U.S. Highway 550 north will remain closed Thursday until evacuations are complete. The southern road block for the highway closure area will move to the 32.2 mile marker.

 

An evacuation center and shelter is open 24 hours a day at Escalante Middle School, 141 Baker Lane, in Durango. Evacuated residents are asked to check in at the evacuation center to receive credentials for re-entry when conditions allow the evacuation order to be lifted.

 

Livestock can be evacuated to the La Plata County Fairgrounds at 2500 Main Avenue. The emergency call center at (970) 385-8700 can help coordinate pick-up of livestock. Small animals are being accepted at the La Plata County Humane Society, 1111 South Camino del Rio, Durango (970) 259-2847.

 

To receive emergency notifications, including evacuation and pre-evacuation notices, on your cell phone or via email: bit.ly/CodeRed_signup.  

###


 

June 6, 2018    6:55 PM

                             

Evacuation, pre-evacuation remain in effect; Type 1 incident management team
to assume command of 416 Fire

 

 

The 416 Fire was measured at 4,015 acres and containment held steady at 10%.  There were 598 firefighters assigned to the fire. All evacuation and pre-evacuation orders issued Friday and Sunday remain in effect.  The Rocky Mountain Region Type 1 Incident Management Team is assembling in the area to take command of the fire.

 

U.S. Highway 550 is scheduled to reopen from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, with law enforcement pilot vehicles escorting through-traffic through the closed area.  The limited opening is subject to change at any moment depending on the potential for rapidly changing fire behavior.

 

On Wednesday, a pre-evacuation notice was issued for 34 residences in San Juan County, north of Cascade Village. This includes Cascade Creek Summer Homes, Mill Creek Lodge Estates, and all properties between mile markers 50 and 54 on U.S. Highway 550.

 

The fire was reported at 10:02 a.m. Friday, June 1 about 10 miles north of Durango on the west side of U.S. Highway 550. The Rocky Mountain Type II Incident Management Team Blue assumed command of the 416 Fire at 6 a.m. Sunday.

 

Residents from Baker’s Bridge at County Road 250 north to Electra Lake Road are under mandatory evacuation orders. This affects approximately 825 residential structures. County Road 250 north from Baker’s Bridge is open to local traffic only, in both directions. 

 

Pre-evacuation notices are in place for residents from the north Hermosa area on both sides of U.S. Highway 550 north to the intersection with County Road 250, and including County Roads 201, 202 and 203 north from Mead Lane. This includes the The Ranch, Goodman, Pine Acres and Animas Village developments.  

 

In addition, residents and businesses from Electra Lake Road north to Meadow View Drive are under pre-evacuation notice.  This includes residents on Electra Lake Road, Purgatory, Durango Mountain Resort, Cascade Village, Celadon, Red Tail Mountain Ranch, Elkhorn Mountain, Pine Acres, and Animas Village neighborhoods and subdivisions. This affects approximately 1,373 residential and commercial structures in La Plata and San Juan counties.

 

Fire operations are ongoing and crews are doing their best to continue progress on containing the fire. The primary goal is to safeguard lives and property in affected areas. Fires are very dangerous places for responders to operate. For the following reasons, evacuations remain in place to allow for safe and effective fire operations:

  • Reduced visibility requires keeping roadways closed for hundreds of personnel to safely operate and rapidly respond to changing fire needs.
  • Minimizing hazards and enhancing access is essential in order to maintain the high pace of work in this dangerous environment.
  • Air operations are similarly dangerous. With more than 20 aircraft operating on the fire, it is imperative for safety to minimize ground hazards.
  • Wildland fire conditions change extremely rapidly. Keeping residents out of harm’s way until hazards can be resolved is essential to allow responders and resources to focus on containment and mitigation of fire hazards.

Again, safeguarding lives and property are the primary goal. Please continue to exercise patience, cooperation, and understanding as responders take on risk to protect our community.

 

The Red Cross shelter is open 24 hours a day with residential credentialing available from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. in Durango at Escalante Middle School, 141 Baker Lane. A second evacuation check-in site is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at the Silverton Town Hall, 1360 Greene Street in Silverton. Those affected by evacuations must check in at an evacuation site or community meeting to receive resident credentials. This is crucial for preparedness, identifying and securing resources for evacuees and for their properties, and for return access when fire conditions become safe. 

 

Livestock can be evacuated to the La Plata County Fairgrounds at 2500 Main Avenue. The emergency call center at (970) 385-8700 can help coordinate pick-up of livestock. Small animals are being accepted at the La Plata County Humane Society, 1111 S. Camino del Rio, Durango (970) 259-2847.

 

While fire and support teams greatly appreciate community support, all food and equipment needs are met at this time and the interagency effort cannot accept additional donations. Financial donations can be made by calling the Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado at (970) 375-5807, in the name of the Community Emergency Relief Fund or to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation at https://wffoundation.org/.

 

For those who received a pre-evacuation notice, the following steps can improve your safety and expedite departure should an evacuation become necessary. San Juan Basin Public Health also has extensive resources to plan for evacuation and emergencies: https://sjbpublichealth.org/epr/.

 

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

 

County Manager Joanne Spina proclaimed a state of local disaster in the unincorporated areas of La Plata County, pursuant to her authority as chief executive officer of La Plata County. Spina’s proclamation is due to the 416 Fire, ongoing exceptional drought conditions, and the potential for additional wildfires in the 2018 fire season.  The La Plata County Board of County Commissioners extended this proclamation of the state of local disaster for an additional 60 days on Tuesday, June 5.

 

The effect of this declaration is to activate the response and recovery aspects of any and all applicable local and inter-jurisdictional disaster emergency plans and to authorize the furnishing of aid and assistance under those plans.

 

This winter, snowfall in the Animas River basin was less than 40% of average, and this week, Southwest Colorado's snowpack is just 3% of historic average.  We have been experiencing above-average temperatures, hot dry winds with low humidity and very little rain this spring.  As of May 29, the weather station at the Durango-La Plata County Airport had recorded 1.41 inches of precipitation in 2018, nearly 4 inches below the historic average for that time period. 

 

In April, these factors prompted La Plata County to be classified in “exceptional drought” conditions – the most intense of five drought levels.  These drought conditions have persisted and the fuels (grass, brush and trees) in La Plata County are extremely dry and can produce explosive fire growth and behavior. 

 

On Thursday, the La Plata County Board of County Commissioners enacted Stage II fire restrictions that build on the Stage I restrictions that were adopted by the Board of County Commissioners on May 2. The Stage II restrictions prohibit the following activities:

 

  • A complete ban of open burning, burn barrels and agricultural burning except for the very limited agriculture burning as provided for in C.R.S. 30-15-401(n.5)(III) and defined in C.R.S. 35-28-104(11). 

 

  • Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, stove fire, including but not limited to charcoal grills, coal or wood burning stoves, or sheepherder’s stoves, unless the specific device uses pressurized liquid or gas and includes a shut-off valve (such as a gas grill).

 

  • Smoking, unless within an enclosed vehicle, trailer, or building.

 

  • Welding, pipefitting, metal grinding, or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame unless the following requirements are met: a 20-foot radius safe zone free of vegetation and all flammable materials, and in addition to the equipment operator, a fire watch individual equipped with one 2 ½ gallon pressurized fire extinguisher or a five-pound ABC extinguisher or a pressurized water supply and proper hand tools must be readily available and on-site to watch for fires.

 

  • Oil and gas welding and cutting operations, which are required to comply with the requirements of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Rules for Fire Prevention and Production, Rule 606A(o), may only be conducted within a 20-foot radius safe zone that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials; and

 

  • Operating or using any internal combustion engine, including but not limited to chainsaws, generators and all-terrain vehicles, unless equipped with a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained, and in effective working order meeting either Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Standard 5100-1a or Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) recommended practice J335(b) and J350 (a); and 

 

  • Operating a chainsaw, unless a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher of not less than 8 ounces capacity by weight is in the operator’s immediate vicinity, and one size 0 or larger round, pointed shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches is with fueling supplies and is readily available; and  

 

  • Using an explosive, including but not limited to fireworks, blasting caps, or any other incendiary device. Public fireworks displays for Independence Day will be permitted if they are under the control of local fire departments or licensed fireworks professionals and approved by the local authority having jurisdiction. Blasting in development areas or construction areas with continuous fire watch will be permitted with written authorization of the appropriate fire chief or the sheriff of La Plata County, whomever has jurisdiction; and

 

  • Flaring for oil and gas production wells and production facilities may be allowed with approval from the designated fire chief (or his designee) for that district, or in the event no fire district exists for the location of the proposed flaring, the La Plata County Director of the Office of Emergency Management. Any flaring from established gas processing plants or facilities is exempted.

 

Please sign up to receive emergency notifications, including evacuation and pre-evacuation notices, on your cell phone or via email: bit.ly/CodeRed_signup.

 

Please follow @416fire and @LaPlataCounty on Facebook or @LaPlataCountyCO on Twitter for continual updates.

 

###


Pre-evacuation notice issued for north Hermosa area east of U.S. 550 to Animas River

 

The 416 Fire’s path in the Hermosa Creek drainage has prompted a pre-evacuation notice for 252 residences on the east side of U.S. Highway 550 west to the Animas River from Mead/Albrecht Lane north to Baker’s Bridge. This includes the Ranch and Goodman subdivisions.

 

A CodeRED notification was sent to residents and businesses in the pre-evacuation area and law enforcement personnel are sharing the information door to door.

 

For those who receive a pre-evacuation notice, the following steps can improve your safety and expedite departure should an evacuation become necessary. San Juan Basin Public Health also has extensive resources to plan for evacuation and emergencies: https://sjbpublichealth.org/epr/

 

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

 

 

To receive emergency notifications, including evacuation and pre-evacuation notices, on your cell phone or via email: bit.ly/CodeRed_signup.

 


June 4, 2018     6:42 PM                                       

Pre-evacuation, evacuation orders remain in effect; Highway 550 closed overnight due to heavy smoke

 

 

 

As of Monday at 10:00 a.m., the 416 Fire was measured at approximately 2,402 acres and was 10% contained. More than 20 aircraft and 384 firefighters were assigned to the fire as of Monday. All evacuation and pre-evacuation orders issued Friday remain in effect as well as the pre-evacuation for additional homes and businesses in north Hermosa area on Sunday at 6 p.m. The evacuation center at Escalante Middle School will now have 24-hour shelter capacity with arrangements for food and showers.

 

At approximately 2:30 p.m., shifting wind and heavy smoke prompted the full re-closure of U.S. Highway 550 between mileposts 35.5 and 43.5 and will remain closed overnight. The highway is scheduled to reopen from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, but that is subject to change at any moment depending on the potential for rapidly changing fire behavior.

 

The fire was reported at 10:02 a.m. Friday, June 1 about 10 miles north of Durango on the west side of U.S. Highway 550. The Rocky Mountain Type II Incident Management Team Blue assumed command of the 416 Fire at 6:00 a.m. Sunday.

 

The Rocky Mountain Type II Incident Management Team has community meetings planned for Durango and Silverton. The first will be at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Animas Valley Elementary School at 373 Hermosa Meadows Road in Hermosa. The second meeting will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the La Plata County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall, 2500 Main Ave in Durango. The Silverton meeting will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Town Hall at 1360 Greene St. Each of these community meetings will have public health representatives available to answer questions, La Plata County CodeRED emergency alert registration available and registration for credentials available for evacuees.

 

Residents from Baker’s Bridge at County Road 250 north to Electra Lake Road are under mandatory evacuation orders. This affects approximately 825 residential structures. County Road 250 north from Baker’s Bridge is open to local traffic only both directions. 

 

Pre-evacuation notices are in place for residents from the north Hermosa area on the west side of U.S. Highway 550 north to the intersection with County Road 250.  In addition, residents and businesses from Electra Lake Road north to Meadow View Drive are under pre-evacuation notice.  This includes Purgatory, Durango Mountain Resort, Cascade Village, Celadon, Red Tail Mountain Ranch, Elkhorn Mountain, Pine Acres, and Animas Village neighborhoods and subdivisions. This affects approximately 1,021 residential structures and commercial.

 

Fire operations are ongoing and crews are doing their best to continue progress on containing the fire. The primary goal is to safeguard lives and property in affected areas. Fires are very dangerous places for responders to operate. For the following reasons, evacuations remain in place to allow for safe and effective fire operations:

  • Reduced visibility requires keeping roadways closed for hundreds of personnel to safely operate and rapidly respond to changing fire needs.
  • Minimizing hazards and enhancing access is essential in order to maintain the high pace of work in this dangerous environment.
  • Air operations are similarly dangerous. With more than 20 aircraft operating on the fire, it is imperative for safety to minimize ground hazards.
  • Wildland fire conditions change extremely rapidly. Keeping residents out of harm’s way until hazards can be resolved is essential to allow responders and resources to focus on containment and mitigation of fire hazards.

Again, safeguarding lives and property are the primary goal. Please continue to exercise patience, cooperation, and understanding as responders take on risk to protect our community.

 

The Red Cross shelter is open 24 hours per day with residential credentialing available from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Tuesday. These credentials will be available for evacuees at all community meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday. A second evacuation check-in site is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at the Silverton Visitor Center, 414 Greene Street in Silverton. Those affected by evacuations must check in at an evacuation site or community meeting to receive resident credentials. This is crucial for preparedness, identifying and securing resources for evacuees and for their properties, and for return access when fire conditions become safe. 

 

Livestock can be evacuated to the La Plata County Fairgrounds at 2500 Main Avenue. The emergency call center at (970) 385-8700 can help coordinate pick-up of livestock. Small animals are being accepted at the La Plata County Humane Society, 1111 S. Camino del Rio, Durango (970) 259-2847.

 

While fire and support teams greatly appreciate community support, all food and equipment needs are met at this time and the interagency effort cannot accept additional donations. Financial donations can be made by calling the Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado at (970) 375-5807, in the name of the Community Emergency Relief Fund or to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation at https://wffoundation.org/.

 

For those who received a pre-evacuation notice, the following steps can improve your safety and expedite departure should an evacuation become necessary. San Juan Basin Public Health also has extensive resources to plan for evacuation and emergencies: https://sjbpublichealth.org/epr/.

 

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

 

County Manager Joanne Spina proclaimed a state of local disaster in the unincorporated areas of La Plata County, pursuant to her authority as chief executive officer of La Plata County. Spina’s proclamation is due to the 416 Fire, ongoing exceptional drought conditions, and the potential for additional wildfires in the 2018 fire season.

 

The effect of this declaration is to activate the response and recovery aspects of any and all applicable local and inter-jurisdictional disaster emergency plans and to authorize the furnishing of aid and assistance under those plans.

 

This winter, snowfall in the Animas River basin was less than 40% of average, and this week, Southwest Colorado's snowpack is just 3% of historic average.  We have been experiencing above-average temperatures, hot dry winds with low humidity and very little rain this spring.  As of May 29, the weather station at the Durango-La Plata County Airport had recorded 1.41 inches of precipitation in 2018, nearly 4 inches below the historic average for that time period. 

 

In April, these factors prompted La Plata County to be classified in “exceptional drought” conditions – the most intense of five drought levels.  These drought conditions have persisted and the fuels (grass, brush and trees) in La Plata County are extremely dry and can produce explosive fire growth and behavior. 

 

On Thursday, the La Plata County Board of County Commissioners enacted Stage II fire restrictions that build on the Stage I restrictions that were adopted by the Board of County Commissioners on May 2. The Stage II restrictions prohibit the following activities:

 

  • A complete ban of open burning, burn barrels and agricultural burning except for the very limited agriculture burning as provided for in C.R.S. 30-15-401(n.5)(III) and defined in C.R.S. 35-28-104(11). 

 

  • Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, stove fire, including but not limited to charcoal grills, coal or wood burning stoves, or sheepherder’s stoves, unless the specific device uses pressurized liquid or gas and includes a shut-off valve (such as a gas grill).

 

  • Smoking, unless within an enclosed vehicle, trailer, or building.

 

  • Welding, pipefitting, metal grinding, or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame unless the following requirements are met: a 20-foot radius safe zone free of vegetation and all flammable materials, and in addition to the equipment operator, a fire watch individual equipped with one 2 ½ gallon pressurized fire extinguisher or a five-pound ABC extinguisher or a pressurized water supply and proper hand tools must be readily available and on-site to watch for fires.

 

  • Oil and gas welding and cutting operations, which are required to comply with the requirements of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Rules for Fire Prevention and Production, Rule 606A(o), may only be conducted within a 20-foot radius safe zone that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials; and

 

  • Operating or using any internal combustion engine, including but not limited to chainsaws, generators and all-terrain vehicles, unless equipped with a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained, and in effective working order meeting either Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Standard 5100-1a or Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) recommended practice J335(b) and J350 (a); and 

 

  • Operating a chainsaw, unless a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher of not less than 8 ounces capacity by weight is in the operator’s immediate vicinity, and one size 0 or larger round, pointed shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches is with fueling supplies and is readily available; and  

 

  • Using an explosive, including but not limited to fireworks, blasting caps, or any other incendiary device. Public fireworks displays for Independence Day will be permitted if they are under the control of local fire departments or licensed fireworks professionals and approved by the local authority having jurisdiction. Blasting in development areas or construction areas with continuous fire watch will be permitted with written authorization of the appropriate fire chief or the sheriff of La Plata County, whomever has jurisdiction; and

 

  • Flaring for oil and gas production wells and production facilities may be allowed with approval from the designated fire chief (or his designee) for that district, or in the event no fire district exists for the location of the proposed flaring, the La Plata County Director of the Office of Emergency Management. Any flaring from established gas processing plants or facilities is exempted.

 

Please sign up to receive emergency notifications, including evacuation and pre-evacuation notices, on your cell phone or via email: bit.ly/CodeRed_signup.

 

Please follow @416fire and @LaPlataCounty on Facebook or @LaPlataCountyCO on Twitter for continual updates.

 

###


Pre-evacuation notice issued for north Hermosa area west of Highway 550

6/03/2018   6:08 PM

 

The 416 Fire’s path into the Hermosa Creek drainage has prompted a pre-evacuation notice for 261 homes and businesses from Mead Lane, known locally as Cometti Lane, in Hermosa north along County Roads 201, 202 and 203. The