West Fork Fire Complex Fire expands dramatically near Pagosa Springs

Blaze started June 5

A 1,700-acre forest fire that was ignited June 5 continued to burn near Pagosa Springs Saturday, exploding the 470 acres Friday night.

The West Fork and Windy Pass fires are now being managed as a complex called the West Fork Complex.

The West Fork Fire was burning about 1/2 mile from the West Fork Trailhead, west of the West Fork of the San Juan River.  Smoke from the fire could be seen from U.S. Highway 160.

The U.S. Forest Service said no structures are threatened by the fire, but sheriff Hosselkus said that 25 cabins that are under structure protection at this time. Five people have been evacuated, two from Borne’s Lake and three from Rainbow Hot Springs. Most of the fire is within the Weminuche Wilderness Area.

A Type 2 Incident Management Team is expected to take over firefighting efforts.

Two hand crews and three helicopters have been ordered to support the firefighters who already are on scene to protect the cabins and outbuildings on private property, the release said.

For public and firefighter safety, the West Fork Trail (561) has been closed.

The Windy Pass fire is southwest of Wolf Creek Pass and east of the Treasure Mountain Trail and is now 108 acres in size.