Published: Sun, June 03, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Fire crews attack Durango-area wildfire; no homes damaged

Fire crews attack Durango-area wildfire; no homes damaged

The fire, which was north of Durango Friday morning, was being fueled by shifting winds that caused almost two square miles to be burned. Officials say 12 buildings have been destroyed and more than 150 homes could be next. Estimates on Friday put the blaze at more than 25 square miles; by Saturday, it consumed more than 42 square miles.

In addition to the 800+ homes vacated, another 750 were told to be ready to leave on a moment's notice.

Several witness have indicated that the inferno was sparked someone near the train tracks, but no official cause has been released, says the Durango Herald.

And a massive fire in Colfax County, New Mexico, had grown to 27,290 acres by Saturday morning and was 0% contained, according to InciWeb, a U.S. government-operated multiagency fire response site.

As the fire almost doubled in size from Friday evening, when fire managers reported it was just over 16,300 acres, National Weather Service officials in Albuquerque warned Saturday that slow-moving storms expected Sunday could cause flash-flooding and flows of debris in the burn scar areas, possibly causing hazards Cimarron and travel along USA 64.

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Authorities ordered residents in Cimarron and surrounding areas to evacuate Friday as the smoke drifted east.

A wildfire threatening a village in northern New Mexico has doubled in size to over 42 square miles (109 square kilometers) as firefighters try to protect almost 300 homes and a Boy Scouts camp. After the wildfire jumped Highway 64, the roadway was closed between Cimarron and Eagle Nest, the Taos News said.

Cimarron is 138 miles (222 kilometers) northeast of Albuquerque. Other roads also were closed. The company's staff worked all Friday night and into Saturday to restore service, which was affected by the fire.

The fire, about 15 miles outside the town of Durango, is 0% contained and has forced the evacuations of 1,500 residents, Mackensen said. It will remain closed until conditions improve, the report added. Areas in and around Ute Park are now in exceptional drought - the worst category - according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

The Ute Park Fire smoke billows high into the blue New Mexico sky driven by strong southwest winds Friday morning.

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