DENVER – After a week that saw the outbreak of multiple large wildfires that forced thousands of Colorado residents out of their homes, firefighters are hopeful that the potential of rain this weekend will bring some much-needed relief.
The largest fire in the state, the 416 Fire north of Durango, had grown to nearly 30,000 acres as of Thursday morning. The fire is holding steady at 15 percent containment. Some residents and businesses west of U.S. Highway 550 who were forced to evacuate were allowed to return home at noon but remained on pre-evacuation orders.
Residents, businesses on west side of U.S. Highway 550 north from Honeyville to Glacier Club; East side from Mead/Albrecht north to Rockwood can return home beginning at noon. These areas remain on pre-evacuation. #416Fire https://t.co/EivzC9bbCt pic.twitter.com/kjS5AMV3ZL
— La Plata County, CO (@LaPlataCountyCO) June 14, 2018
The Buffalo Fire, which forced evacuations of some residents in Silverthorne, is holding steady at 91 acres and 20 percent containment. Evacuation orders remain in place.
Firefighters say weather will continue to be a challenge as warm, dry conditions persist for the next two days. There’s a chance of afternoon thunderstorms, including dry lightning, which raises the potential of new fires.
Forecasters expect rainfall, heavy at times, to move into the region this weekend and that could create new problems – the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction has issued a flash flood watch for parts of southwestern Colorado, including the burn areas of the Burro and 416 fires. The flash flood watch lasts from Saturday morning through Saturday evening.
Below are the latest details on some of the largest active fires in the state:
Size: 32,076 acres
Containment: 15 percent
Location: 13 miles north of Durango
Badger Creek Fire:
Size: 11,021 acres
Containment: 0 percent
Location: Medicine Bow National Forest in Wyoming and Colorado
Size: 415 acres
Containment: 50 percent
Location: 3 miles NW of Wolcott
Size: 91 acres
Containment: 20 percent
Location: Just west of Silverthorne
Size: 2,829 acres
Containment: 0 percent
Location: 4 miles south of Rico, being handled as part of 416 Fire
Size: 500 acres
Containment: 80 percent
Location: 23 miles north of Craig