416 Fire grows to over 2,255 acres; more than 800 homes evacuated, 261 on pre-evacuation notice

LA PLATA COUNTY, Colo. -- A wildfire in southwest Colorado has scorched more than 2,255 acres and have forced more than 800 homes to be evacuated, as of Sunday morning.

A pre-evacuation notice was made for an additional 261 homes and businesses in north Hermosa area on Sunday at 6 p.m., according to a post on La Plata County Government's Facebook page.

This new area is from Mead Lane, known locally as Cometti Lane, in Hermosa north along County Roads 201, 202 and 203, extending north along the west side of U.S. Highway 550 to its intersection with County Road 250. This includes the Pine Acres and Animas Village developments.

La Plata County officials say the 416 Fire was spotted Friday morning about 10 miles north of Durango and spread quickly in shifting winds.

The fire was 10 percent contained and burned 2,250 acres as of Sunday morning, according to officials. Firefighters expect it to grow because the hot, dry and windy weather expected over the next few days.

About 200 firefighters have been mobilized to fight the fire, and fire officials hope to have the fire contained on Tuesday.

Fire spokesman Jim Mackensen tells The Durango Herald that crews made progress in fighting the fire Saturday.

The fire has even caused the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad to suspend all coal-fired passenger service through June 10 as officials work to contain the fire.

U.S. Highway 550 north will reopen from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, officials said. This will be a limited opening with law enforcement be escorting vehicles through the closed area from mile markers 35.5 to 43.5.

Evacuation centers

About 825 homes have been evacuated and 760 homes are on pre-evacuation notice.

An evacuation center was open at Escalante Middle School at 141 Baker Lane in Durango. A second evacuation center was open at Silverton School, 1160 Snowden Street in Silverton.

Livestock can be evacuated to the La Plata County Fairgrounds at 2500 Main Avenue. The emergency call center at 970-385-8700 can help coordinate pick-up of livestock.

Small animals are being accepted at the La Plata County Humane Society, 1111 South Camino del Rio or by calling 970-259-2847.

The Discover Goodwill of Durango, 1230 Escalante Drive, is accepting clothes and household donations.

Financial donations can be made by calling the Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado at 970-375-5807 in the name of the Community Emergency Relief Fund.

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