Rain helps crews fighting Colorado fires but more warm, dry weather on the way

Posted at 11:17 AM, Jun 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-18 13:17:02-04

DURANGO, Colo. – A dose of tropical moisture over the weekend helped crews fighting wildfires across Colorado but officials warn that conditions this week could lead to additional fire growth.

The remnants of Tropical Storm Bud moved into the region on Saturday and Sunday, bringing some much-needed rain that helped keep multiple fires from growing any larger.

MAP: Here are the major wildfires currently burning in Colorado

The biggest fire in the state, the 416 Fire near Durango, was just over 34,000 acres and 30 percent contained as of Monday morning.

Fire officials said the fire is mostly just smoldering at this point and they expect growth to be “limited” on Monday. Hundreds of residents who had been forced out of their homes by the fire were allowed to return on Sunday.

The nearby Burro Fire was estimated at 3,715 acres and 12 percent contained as of Monday.

Firefighters have made significant progress on the Buffalo Fire near Silverthorne. That fire was 95 percent contained as of Sunday night and hadn’t grown beyond 81 acres.

Farther north, the Badger Creek Fire along the Colorado-Wyoming state line was just over 20,000 acres and 85 percent contained as of Monday.

While the weekend rainfall has kept those fires from growing any larger, fire officials say conditions will once again be hot and dry throughout the week, making it possible to see new growth or even new fires. Temperatures near the 416 Fire, for example, will be in the mid- to upper-70s with low relative humidity.

Despite recent moisture, the San Juan National Forest remains in a significant drought with a rain deficit of about 5 inches, officials said.