Massive wildfires in Colorado and New Mexico have torched thousands of acres and forced hundreds to evacuate their homes.
The fire in Colorado’s La Plata County has burned 1,100 acres, US Forest Service spokesman Jim Mackensen said on Saturday. The fire, about 15 miles outside the town of Durango, is 0% contained and has forced the evacuations of 1,500 residents, Mackensen said. No structures have been destroyed, he added
By Friday evening, the blaze had prompted La Plata County Manager Joanne Spina to declare a state of local disaster. On Saturday morning, grass, brush and timber continued to fuel the fire.
Temperatures in the area were still high, Mackensen said, adding the forecast for Sunday shows a 50% chance of thunderstorms. It should help, he said, but “being that they are thunderstorms, they could cause another fire.” And a massive fire in Colfax County, New Mexico, had grown to 16,354 acres as of Friday night, according to New Mexico Fire Information.
A mandatory evacuation order was in place for the town of Cimarron, where 296 structures were threatened by the blaze, called the Ute Park Fire. By Friday, it had destroyed 14 outbuildings.