A mandatory evacuation order was issued Sunday morning for more than 850 residences in Purgatory/Durango Mountain Resort, Lake Purgatory, Silver Pick Lodge, Cascade Village, Mill Creek and all residences on both sides of U.S. Highway between mile markers 46.5 to 53.1. Law enforcement officers began knocking on the doors of homes at 10 a.m. Friday on the east and west sides of US 550 from Electra Lake Drive north to Hermosa Cliffs Road and to the north end of Two Dogs Trail.
The fire started June 1 in San Juan National Forest land.
The Mountain View Fire Protection District, based out of Longmont, sent four members to southern Colorado. It continues to progress through Hermosa Creek drainage.
Fire potential is high today as a result of dry conditions mixed with low humidity, Eaby said.
Fire officials said in a release that the weather will likely make things worse Sunday, as more severe winds are expected.
La Plata County officials said there are 813 people fighting the fire.
"It's still a fan on the fire", Oravec said.
As many as 1,300 homes have been evacuated. No structures have been lost.
Aerial operations are creating a larger burnout area on the north side of the fire to serve as a barrier should the fire spread that direction from the southwest.
Fire officials expect smoke will be heavy and low in the Animas Valley, and visibility will be restricted Monday morning. Evacuated residents are asked to check in at the evacuation center to receive credentials for re-entry when conditions allow the evacuation order to be lifted.
Map of the 416 Fire at 9:15 p.m. MDT June 7, 2018.
Beebe said about two dozen firefighters in his department have the specialized training to fight wildland fires, and will occasionally travel to help where needed.
As the weather persists, La Plata County commissioners will meet at 10 a.m. Tuesday to consider enacting Stage 3 fire restrictions.
In 2017, a near-record 4 million hectares were burned in US wildfires, the National Interagency Coordination Center said.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued an air quality advisory, warning of nhealthy levels of smoke observed throughout large parts of La Plata County on Sunday morning. Gusts are expected to be between 15-20 miles per hour at the fire, and Durango is expecting a high of 84 degrees, said Michael Charnick with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.