Lightner Creek Fire evacuees allowed to return home

DURANGO, Colo. — Residents impacted by the Lightner Creek Fire have been allowed to return home as crews continue to work to contain the flames.

All pre-evacuation notices were lifted Saturday night and residents on La Plata County Road 207, north of the intersection of County Road 207/208, were allowed to return home.

The remaining evacuated residents were allowed to return home Sunday morning. County Roads 207 and 208 remain closed to the public, officials said.

“This remains an active fire area, with firefighting operations under way,” said Shane Greer, incident commander with Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team Black.

On Sunday, officials said the fire was 89 percent contained and had burned 406 acres.

“Crews were able to make excellent progress on building containment lines despite the challenging terrain,” Greer stated. “On Sunday, firefighters will continue to build and secure existing containment lines around the fire.”

“Smoke may still be visible within the fire perimeter at times, and should not be a concern to residents or visitors in the area.”

Lightner Creek Fire (Photo: Kathy Granger)

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

Officials warned that drones are not allowed over wildland fire operations and pose a serious risk to pilots, firefighters, and the public.

“A drone can be fatal to firefighting pilots and firefighters working to suppress the fire. Unauthorized drones also disrupt and delay firefighting efforts,” Greer stated.

“A drone flying in the fire area temporarily halted air operations on Saturday, but helicopters eventually resumed flying by the afternoon to support firefighters on the ground.”