Woman whose home burned in Lightner Creek Fire doesn’t know how it started

DURANGO, Colo. -- Officials said firefighters kept the Lightner Creek Fire west of Durango from growing on Friday. It had consumed more than 360 acres and was 20 percent contained.

Christine Polinsky said she is the owner of the only home to burn in fire. She said she only left her home for a short while Wednesday, and when she came back to her property, the house was in flames.

She has no idea what started the fire. People in about 170 homes were evacuated. Most of them remained out of their homes.

A community meeting was held Friday night in which fire managers updated residents about the situation and what will happen in the coming days.

Gov. John Hickenlooper declared a disaster emergency on Thursday to help deploy resources to the fire in southwestern Colorado.

Lightner Creek Fire. Photo credit: Kathy Granger

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

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.

Colorado Emergency Management said Saturday night that residents in the area would be allowed back into their homes in stages.

A post on La Plata County government's website outlined the plan for letting homeowners return.

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

The cause of the fire is under investigation.