The 416 Fire in Durango, Colo., has closed a portion of US-550. As of Wednesday, June 13, limited access will be granted to the general public from noon to 6 p.m. local time. Conditions can change at any time with the more than 27,000 acres affected so far at only 15 percent containment.
Located about 13 miles north of Durango, the 416 Fire began on June 1. Since then, the fire has ballooned to more than 27,000 acres, forcing residents in the 550 corridor in San Juan County to evacuate. Mandatory evacuations were lifted Wednesday morning as conditions improved. However, certain travel restrictions remain in place.
On Wednesday, U.S. 550 was reopened to escorted traffic at noon until 6 p.m. from mile marker 32 to mile marker 49.5, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. CDOT spokeswoman Lisa Ann Schwantes told Land Line that U.S. 550 will reopen from 8 a.m. to 8p.m. on Thursday, June 14, for through traffic under the same law enforcement escort conditions.
According to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group, isolated thunderstorms are forecasted north and east of the wildfire. Although rain may help contain fire, thunderstorms can worsen the fire with cloud-to-ground lightning and wind gusts blowing the fire.
Another fire, the Burro Fire, is burning approximately 5 miles southeast of state Route 145 between Dolores (to the south) and Rico (to the north). As of Wednesday, the Burro Fire was nearly 3,000 acres and at zero containment. No highway closures have been reported.
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