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Governor declares disaster emergency for 360-acre Lightner Creek Fire

DURANGO, Colo. -- Gov. John Hickenlooper declared a disaster emergency on Thursday to help deploy resources to the Lightner Creek Fire burning west of Durango in southwestern Colorado.

The fire was started at a home Wednesday afternoon north of Highway 160, then spread. The home was destroyed.

Officials said Thursday night the fire had grown to about 362 acres and was 20 percent contained. Firefighters are being hampered by hot, dry, windy conditions.

A red flag warning was in place on Thursday afternoon for most of western Colorado, including the Durango area.

Officials said no new structures are being threatened, and there have been no injuries or fatalities.

The state's multimission aircraft has been deployed to help in the firefighting effort. Hickenlooper's declaration also includes having the Colorado National Guard to deploy to provide support if requested.

Evacuation orders remained in place for 170 homes, officials said.

  • All residents on County Road 207 north of the intersection of County Road 207/208;
  • All residents on County Road 206, with the exception of the Westwood Apartments, at the intersection of County Road 206 and Highway 160;
  • All residents on County Road 208;
  • The Twin Buttes subdivision;
  • Animas High School;
  • All recreation trails in the Test Tracks west of downtown Durango are closed, including Hogsback, Leydon and Hidden Valley trails.

About 100 guests were evacuated from the Lightner Creek Campground, the camp host told the Durango Herald.

The evacuation center for people and their pets was moved from the La Plata County Fairgrounds to Escalante Middle School on Thursday afternoon.

A community hotline for the fire was established at 970-385-8700.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.