416 Fire burning in southwest Colorado remains 10% contained at 2,400 acres

Humidity expected to drop through day Monday
Posted at 12:41 PM, Jun 04, 2018

LA PLATA COUNTY, Colo. – Growth of the 416 Fire in southwestern Colorado stagnated Sunday with humidity and some rain in the area, and grew by only 147 acres by Monday morning.

The Rocky Mountain Incident Management team said that containment of the fire was still 10 percent as of Monday morning, and that the roughly 800 homes that have been evacuated will remain under evacuation orders. More than 1,000 people remain under pre-evacuation orders.

"Yesterday the fire grew 147 acres so I think that was a really positive step and a positive sign," La Plata County spokesperson Megan Graham told Denver7 in an interview Monday.

GALLERY: See photos from the 416 Fire in La Plata County

A fire official told Denver7 Monday morning that their main focus early this week would be keeping the fire west of U.S. Highway 550 and not allowing it to jump the highway.

On Sunday night and through Monday morning, crews patrolled the southern flank of the fire, which included the Hermosa area, which is under pre-evacuation orders.

A time lapse video of the fire's overnight movement was posted by Four Corners Digital Imagery.

Officials said they expected the fire’s behavior to be moderate early Monday and to increase in activity later in the afternoon as humidity drops. Wet weather is expected to move into the area by week’s end.

"Yesterday, the rain that we did get was helpful and nice, but it did bring with it some lightning," Graham said. "With thunderstorms comes the risk of additional fires. And with the conditions being as dry as they are, that's going to be a concern for a while."

Highway 550 had been restricted to one lane Monday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and law enforcement were escorting drivers through the area.

But as of 2:30 p.m., the highway was being shut down for the rest of the day due to heavy smoke. The San Juan National Forest is closed for the time being.

Donations are being accepted at Discover Goodwill of Durango and through the Community Foundation. More information on the fire and those organizations can be found here.

All of La Plata County is experiencing “exceptional drought” – the most severe category handed out by the U.S. Drought Monitor and is eligible for federal assistance because of the classification. 

The 416 Fire was 2,402 acres in size as of Monday morning, and there were 384 firefighters battling it as of Sunday.

Denver7's Jennnifer Kovaleski contributed to this report.