San Juan National Forest to reopen Thursday as wildfires’ growth slows

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DURANGO, Colo. — The San Juan National Forest in southwest Colorado will reopen on Thursday after being closed for more than a week because of wildfire concerns.

Bureau of Land Management lands in the Durango area also will reopen as the 416 Fire in the area has slowed the past couple days after rain up to 1.5 inches in some places fell over the weekend.

The 1.8 million-acre San Juan National Forest has been closed since June 12. It will reopen at 3 p.m. Thursday.

An area around the 416 and Burro fires will remain closed to the public, including the segments of the Colorado Trail from Molas Pass to the Junction Creek terminus.

The 416 Fire, which started June 1 north of Durango, has burned at about 34,177 acres and was 35 percent contained as of Wednesday morning.

The Burro Fire in the area has burned about 3,715 acres and is 53 percent contained.

Fire officials expect some increase in fire activity as weather conditions continue to dry out.

The San Juan National Forest and BLM lands will remain under Stage 2 fire restrictions. But campgrounds, roads and trails will reopen and operations to resume for those with permits and contracts for doing business on public lands.

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