Wildfire updates

Published: Jul. 18, 2019 at 10:27 AM MDT
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There are a few wildfires that have started within Colorado, with one caused by lightning.

Firefighters are preparing containment lines for a fire that was started by lightning near Durango.

According to the San Juan National Forest Service, the lightning-caused 441 fire is still burning slowly near the Missionary Bridge between First Fork and Red Creek trails as of July 18.

The fire is currently estimated at 20 acres. Smoke was reported by local residents on July 13.

Fire crews have initiated a type 3 team to confine and contain the fire within existing trail boundaries. About 30 firefighters and support personnel are on scene to ensure the fire stays within the boundaries they have set for it.

A wildland fire module and hand crew are securing the southwest boundary by clearing fallen trees and vegetation in the area that could help carry the fire.

Firefighters are planning some "burnout" operations along the First Fork Trail in order to use that trail to help confine the fire as well.

The 441 Fire is being allowed to burn within a defined area of about 2000 acres to decrease the chances of future high-severity fires in this area. Officials anticipate that the fire's perimeter may grow to around 250 acres.

The team is monitoring the fire's growth and mitigating the smoke and fire's impact on Durango and County Road 240.

First Fork, Red Creek and Missionary Ridge trails are all closed.

A small brush fire in Montrose County broke out on July 17.

It's about four miles north of Norwood on Deer Mesa.

The Nelson Ditch fire has burned 20 acres and is moving north-east.

Horses have been evacuated in the area and the San Miguel County Fairgrounds is accepting evacuated horses. Please contact DeeAnna Burbridge at 970-428-3303 to arrange accommodations at the fairgrounds.

Officials are asking the public to avoid the area of County Road 42ZN and Moondance trail to give fire and emergency personal space to work.

So far officials tell us that no structures are threatened at this time but there is a large amount of smoke in the area.

They say people with health or breathing issues should stay inside to avoid breathing in the polluted air.

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