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Another 300-plus residences forced to evacuate as 416 Fire grows past 7,100 acres

HERMOSA, Colo. — Hot and windy weather is expected in southwest Colorado as crews try to contain a wildfire that prompted evacuations of more than 1,000 homes.

Authorities said Friday the fire north of Durango had grown to 7,180 acres.

No homes have burned in the 416 Fire, but fire managers have said the flames could reach the small town of Hermosa on Friday. Residents of about 500 Hermosa homes have been told to evacuate.

On Friday, mandatory evacuation orders were issued for 304 residences on the east and west sides of U.S. Highway 550 from Electra Lake Drive north to Hermose Cliffs Road and the north end of Two Dogs Trail.

Residents were notified by law enforcement beginning at 10 a.m. Residents must evacuate by 4 p.m. Friday.

Southbound Highway 550 will remain open until 6 p.m. Friday to through traffic only with law enforcement pilot vehicles escorting convoys.

An evacuation center and shelter has been set up at Escalante Middle School in Durango (141 Baker Lane). Livestock can be evacuated to the La Plata County Fairgrounds (2500 Main Ave.).

The fire started June 1 about 10 miles from Durango. The cause hasn’t been determined.

The blaze was 10 percent contained on Friday, and full containment isn’t expected until June 30. Nearly 700 firefighters are on the scene.

Durango is near the center of an extreme drought in the Southwestern U.S.