Fire growing near Silverthorne, moving towards I-70

Entire San Juan National Forest To Be Closed To Public

"We don't anticipate there being a big push there in that northeastern corner", Knight said.

The largest and most threatening blaze, a 12-day-old conflagration dubbed the 416 Fire, has scorched more than 9,460 hectares of drought-parched grass, brush and timber at the edge of the San Juan National Forest near the southwestern Colorado town of Durango. Some evacuees were set to be allowed to return home Wednesday morning.

Colorado's 1.8-million acre San Juan National Forest will remain closed to the public until "historic" fire conditions improve. "There's a lot of structures and a lot of people we're trying to move", he said. Firefighters said Monday that full containment of the 416 Fire was not expected before the end of the month. Those living below 20 Grand Road were placed on a pre-evacuation notice.

No buildings have been destroyed so far, but flames had crept to within a few hundred yards of homes, with multiple aircraft dropping water and flame retardant, according to Inciweb, an interagency fire report.

There were 50 firefighters battling the fire as of Tuesday evening, with another 100 en route. Two VLATS (very large air tankers) and four heavy air tankers provided structure protection for private property and residences, primarily in the Wold Tract community.

Though thunderstorms in the next few days could bring much-needed moisture to the area, officials are anxious the storm could bring lightning and gusty winds that lead to unpredictable fire behavior.

Summit Fire Chief Jeff Berino said Wednesday night that lightning has been ruled out as a cause of the Buffalo Fire, which erupted Tuesday near the central Colorado town of Silverthorne.

The fire is at 91 acres and is still growing.

The start location was reported between the Mesa Cortina and Buffalo Mountain trailheads.

"We need to take every action possible to reduce the risk of human-caused fires". "We haven't received any information on that yet".

Fire officials have been expecting a busy wildfire season after a dry winter, possibly the worst since 2012 and 2013, when the Black Forest Fire in El Paso County destroyed almost 500 homes, the most in state history. Voos said, "we're anticipating that we're not going to get a foothold with this thing for a while here".

Overnight sheltering has been made available at Frisco Elementary School at 800 8th Avenue in Frisco. Area residents who evacuated but have pets at their homes should call Summit County Animal Control at 970-668-4143 for help retrieving them.

The fire is being fought indirectly until it reaches flatter terrain where firefighters can safely engage it head-on.



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