Cause of death investigated for Shanann Watts, 2 daughters
Latest updates: Homicides of Shanann Watts, daughters

416 Fire north of Durango forces new evacuations

LA PLATA COUNTY, Colo. — A mandatory evacuationĀ  began at 6 a.m. Thursday for residences in the Hermosa area as a result of the 416 Fire north of Durango.

The area north from Cometti/Mead Lane to the intersection of La Plata County Road 250C and U.S. Highway 550 had been under a pre-evacuation notice.

Law enforcement officers started going door to door telling residents to leave.

Warm, drier and windy weather has fueled a 1,000-acre increase in the wildfire.

Fire officials expect more of the same weather conditions and additional fire growth.

The wildfire burning about 10 miles north of Durango in the San Juan National Forest has charred 4,105 acres. It remained 10 percent contained.

The fire spread to the south Tuesday, prompting La Plata County officials to issue new pre-evacuation orders for an area west of the small community of Hermosa.

About 1,500 residents in the area have been evacuated because of the fire, which began Friday.

The number of firefighters on the fire has grown to nearly 600.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The fire has shut down the historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, which runs through the area, at least through Sunday.

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