Colorado 416 Fire doubles in size; 1300 homes evacuated

3-D map 416 Fire

A mandatory evacuation order was issued on Sunday for approximately 675 residences, bringing the total number of homes under evacuation to nearly 2,000, La Plata County, Colorado, spokeswoman Megan Graham said. A flank of fire crews is dedicated to protecting the homes and infrastructure in nearby Hermosa as the blaze has entered Hermosa Creek.

Deputies were going door to door, telling people to leave.

So far, the week-old wildfire has blackened almost eight square miles, but no buildings have been burned. 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.

An additional 220 homes were evacuated Saturday, said Megan Graham, a spokeswoman for La Plata County, Colorado.

Authorities ordered the residents of 675 homes to evacuate after the fire burning north of Durango almost doubled in size overnight to 26 square miles.

As of Saturday morning, the Bureau of Land Management said the Natty Fire was 30 percent contained.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said Monday that if visibility is less than 5 miles, the smoke has reached levels that are unhealthy. The area includes the communities of Durango and Hermosa and the Southern Ute Reservation.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Officials say the smoke should begin to lessen and move northeast later Saturday.

Durango fire updates: How many people have been evacuated? What causes a wildfire?

More than 800 firefighters are now battling the 416 Fire and are being assisted by nine Type 1 hand crews, 11 Type 2 hand crews, 44 engines, five dozers, four water tenders and four Type 1, two Type 2 and two Type 3 helicopters.

A new blaze about 13 miles to the west, known as the Burro fire, prompted U.S. Forest Service officials on Saturday to close part of the Colorado trail in the San Juan National Forest.

Emergency responders say they've kept a week-old wildfire in southwestern Colorado from destroying any houses so far.

Despite an all-out air assault on the 416 Fire, the blaze continues to chew through the San Juan mountains, all just steps away from John Ogorzalek's home.

As many as 1,300 homes have been evacuated.

Highway 550 southbound will remain open Friday until 6 p.m.to through traffic only with law enforcement pilot vehicles escorting convoys through the fire area.

More than 680 firefighters and several aircraft are on scene.

The 416 fire north of Durango grew by 1,511 acres overnight Friday, totaling almost 8,700 acres with 10 percent containment, officials said Saturday.

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