SPRING CREEK FIRE
The fire has raged to about 79,000 acres and destroyed at least 104 residences, rekindling memories of the state’s drought-driven, destructive 2002 fire season.
Burning in Costilla and Huerfano counties, the fire has exploded in thousand-acre increments recently fueled by Red Flag fire warning conditions. Evacuee orders remain in place because of the fast-moving fire.
The fire on Monday made a “significant run” along the ridgeline north of Raspberry Mountain, fire officials said Tuesday, with flames shooting over 300 feet high. The fire continues to follow heavy fuels, moving downslope eastward toward Highway 12 north of Pine Haven.
The fire, about 13 miles north of Durango, has cost $27.8 million to date, fire officials said Tuesday. The 52,000-acre-plus fire is 37 percent contained and all La Plata County pre-evacuation orders have been lifted.
On Tuesday, firefighters worked on improving firelines near Purgatory Ski Resort, in case the fire approaches the resort. The fire is not expected to challenge the lines over the next few days, fire officials said, and the blaze may not test the lines if forecasted rains arrive later in the week.
Durango’s weather forecast calls for a 20 percent chance of rain on Thursday and Friday night, with a 30 percent chance for moisture on Thursday night and Friday. There’s a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms through the weekend.
WESTON PASS FIRE
Firefighting efforts on Tuesday focused on protecting the Campground of the Rockies Association (CORA), a private RV Ranch located on U.S. 285 south of Fairplay. CORA is a 600-acre RV village and campground, ranging in elevation from 9,000 to 9,700 feet. The fire is about a mile northwest of the campground. A structure protection plan was “nearing completion” Tuesday afternoon, fire officials said.
Meanwhile, “mop up” operations continued Tuesday to “further secure” a section on the northeast end of the fire in the Rich Creek and Lynch Creek areas, and the northeast section along U.S. 285.
On Tuesday, 412 firefighters were battling the Weston Pass fire, which has burned more than 9,300 acres.
HIGH CHATEAU FIRE
The fire, burning in the Pike National Forest, has scorched more than 1,300 acres. More than 400 “first responders” were working Tuesday on the fire, according to the Teller County Sheriff’s Office. The blaze is about 7 miles northwest of Cripple Creek.
Roads closed in the area include Teller County Roads 11, 12 and 111; County Road 1 is closed from Deer Mountain to County Road 11.
Firefighters on Tuesday battled an active fire fueled by 80-degree weather, humidity in the low teens and winds gusting up to 45 mph. Thunderstorms late in the day did not bring significant moisture. A Red Flag fire warning for the area was posted by the National Weather Service through 8 p.m. Tuesday because of weather conditions including dry lightning strikes.
The fire was estimated to be about 15 percent contained Tuesday.
Pike and San Isabel national forests are reporting that at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, the Adobe fire was at 85 acres. Pre-evacuation orders are in effect south of County Road 15 in Fremont County to the Custer County line. They have closed the area between Highway 96 and Oak Creek Road as well as along the west and east forest boundary lines.
So far, fire crews have utilized five air tankers and three helicopters to aid the teams working on the ground.
Wildfires in the U.S.
The map shows active fire locations and all 2018 fire perimeters (not all fires have perimeter data, zoom in to see perimeters of smaller fires). To see all 2018 fire locations or to change the map background, click the map layers icon in the upper right corner of the map and click/unclick the boxes. Pinch or use buttons to zoom, or drag the map to see other areas; click a marker for details. Go to the full map and table.
Data from InciWeb and GeoMAC; map by Kevin Hamm