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Divide Fire grows more than 6,000 acres overnight; mandatory evacs in Lake Christine to be lifted

Posted: 12:46 PM, Jul 08, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-09 17:05:19Z

DENVER -- Firefighters continue to battle several wildland fires burning more than 200,000 acres on National Forest System Lands, with the majority of them burning in the Rocky Mountain area. 

The largest of them all, the Spring Fire burning approximately 5 miles east of Fort Garland in southern Colorado, has burned 106,985 acres of land as of Sunday morning and is 43 percent contained.

The map below shows the large fires currently burning in the state, along with details on acreage, containment and other important information:


Note: This map and the data contained within are maintained by The Colorado State Emergency Operations Center and some information may be delayed. Check with your local fire district for the most updated information.

Here's the latest information on the fires burning across the state for Sunday, July 8, 2018:

416 Fire 

Size: 54,129 acres
Containment: 50 percent
Location: 13 miles north of Durango

The 416 Fire started at about 10 a.m. on June 1, 2018, approximately 10 miles north of Durango. The fire is burning on the west side of State Highway 550 on some private land and on the San Juan National Forest.

As of Sunday morning, a pre-evacuation notice remains in place for 317 homes in Tripp Creek, Dyke Canyon, Hermosa Circle and Falls Creek Ranch areas. An emergency information line has been activated, and residents can obtain the latest information by calling (970) 385-8700. 

Fire officials said management of the 416 Fire would transition from the National Incident Management Organization team (NIMO) back to the San Juan National Forest on Tuesday, July 10 at 6 p.m. Residents who would still like to keep getting updated information about the 416 Fire should "like" the  San Juan National Forest Facebook page in anticipation of this transition. 

Burro Fire 

Size: 4,593 acres 
Containment: 50 percent
Location: Approximately 14 miles south of Rico

The Burro Fire was detected on June 8, 2018 at 3:45 p.m. near the Gold Run Trail on the Dolores Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest. 

On Sunday morning, officials said the Burro Fire received more rain on the afternoon of July 7, which reduced fire activity enough that smoke was hard to see. However, embers continued to smolder where heavy fuels were protected from the rain, such as the undersides of logs. When hot, dry weather returns, those smoldering embers could create small amounts of visible smoke. Firefighters have diligently extinguished hot spots they find near control lines, to reduce the chance that the fire may spread when dry weather returns.

On Saturday, two firefighting crews returned home after a 14-day assignment on the Burro Fire. Two crews will remain on the fire.

Fire restrictions remain in effect on the San Juan National Forest and in Montezuma and Dolores counties. Residents and visitors should continue to avoid open burning, fireworks, or other activities that could create sparks or flame.

Closures are still in effect in the Burro and 416 fire areas. Authorities ask the passersby and residents respect closure barriers on roads and trails. The Colorado Trail is still closed from Molas Pass south to Junction Creek, and the Hermosa Creek Wilderness is closed.

Divide Fire 

Size: 19,955 acres
Containment: 80 percent
Location: Approximately 32 miles northwest of Craig

At about 1:50 p.m. on Friday, June 29, deputies with the Moffat County Sheriff's Office responded to reports of a fire burning near the Town of Great Divide. About 75 firefighters are working with four single-engine air-tankers and a helicopter to limit the spread of the fire. Several structures were threatened. Two structures have been lost since the fire started. 

The Divide Fire grew over 6,000 acres from Saturday into Sunday, according to the latest acreage numbers. A Type 3 Incident Management Team is now managing the fire. Agencies responding to the fire yesterday included the Moffat Sheriff’s Office, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Forest Service, Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, Craig Fire/Rescue, Moffat County Road and Bridge, and Yampa Valley Electric.

High Chateau Fire 

Size: 1,423 acres
Containment: 95 percent
Location: Central Teller County

On Sunday morning, Teller County officials said the High Chateau Fire was 95 percent contained. Three men face arson charges in connection to this fire. 

Lake Christine Fire 

Size: 5,916 acres 
Containment: 30 percent
Location: Near Basalt

The Lake Christine Fire is burning approximately one mile northwest of Basalt, Colorado. The fire grew significantly on the Fourth of July, driven by strong outflow winds, extremely dry fuels, and single digit relative humidity. So far, three homes have been destroyed by the blaze. 

Mandatory evacuations for the Lake Christine Fire on most roads within the Town of Basalt were lifted at 8 a.m. Monday, fire officials said. That excludes Lake Christine Road, Wilderness Road, Promontory Lane, Wild Spring Lane, Cedar Drive and Pinion Drive. Evacuation orders for residents at El Jebel Mobile Home Park were also lifted.

Fire officials ask that residents affected by the Lake Christine Fire stick to the following re-entry plan, adding they do not want anyone to park on Highway 82: 

Residents returning to Original Rd., Sagewood Rd, Pine Ridge Rd, Hillcrest Dr. and Silverado Dr. should note there will be no left turn from eastbound Hwy 82 onto Original Road and no northbound access onto Original Rd. from Valley Rd (crossing Hwy 82). All access onto Original Rd. will only be via a right turn from westbound Hwy 82. 

Residents returning to Hillcrest Dr. and Silverado Dr. will need to stage at the ‘2 Rivers Park-n-Ride’ beginning no earlier than 1:45 p.m. A limited number of cars will be released at a time to prevent backups.

Fire officials said Saturday evening a firefighter was injured on the fire line at about 6 p.m. His condition and extent of injuries is unknown at this time. 

Spring Fire 

Size: 107,627 acres 
Containment: 70 percent
Location: 5 miles east of Fort Garland
Cause: Human-caused, under investigation

The Spring Fire east of Fort Garland in Costilla and Huerfano counties has forced the evacuation of more than 2,000 homes since last Wednesday. Officials said 132 homes have been destroyed so far. More than 1,000 personnel are currently working on the blaze. 

At 9 a.m. Sunday, fire officials said "much progress" had been made against the Spring Fire, with crews now working to complete containment, mop-up and repair of areas affected by fire suppression actions.

As Highway 160 opens and residents enter the burned area, they should be aware that smoke and possibly some flame will be visible within the fire perimeter in coming days, fire officials said Sunday. 

For current evacuee information in Huerfano County, visit www.facebook.com/HuerfanoCountyOEM or call 211 for in-state phone numbers or (719) 583-6611 for out-of-state phone numbers. For Costilla County,  visit the San Luis Valley Emergency page: www.slvemergency.org or call (719) 480-8719 between the hours of 10 a.m and 3 p.m. For Las Animas County, visit the Las Animas County OEM Facebook page  or call (719) 846-2993 ext. 0.

Sugarloaf Fire 

Size: 1,246 acres 
Containment: 20 percent
Location: About 13 miles southwest of Fraser
Cause: Lightning/natural

The Sugarloaf Fire started on Thursday, June 28, from a lightning strike near the South Fork of Darling Creek, just south of Byers Peak Wilderness.

All structure protection for the homes and mine infrastructure was completed, authorities said at 9 a.m. Sunday. Crews continued to patrol and test hoselays. Over 6,000 feet of hoselay is in place, and will remain so until the Sugarloaf Fire is no longer a threat. The fire is not immediately threatening homes or businesses.

Thornburg Fire 

Size: 1,636 acres 
Containment: 100 percent
Location: 5 miles west of Maybell 

Colorado's latest wildfire was reported on Friday, July 6 at around 7:30 p.m. about five miles west of Maybell in Moffat County (northwest Colorado). As of 9 a.m. Sunday, about 30 structures were still threatened by the Thornburg Fire, but none are believed to be lost or damaged. The fire is burning on a mix of private and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land. 

Fire officials said the cause of the fire is unknown at this time, but added lightning moved through the area shortly before the fire was reported.  

Weston Pass Fire 

Size: 13,019 acres
Containment: 52 percent
Location: 9 miles southwest of Fairplay
Cause: Lightning/natural

Firefighters continue to work tirelessly to secure line along the fire edge in several areas along the contingency line north from Rough and Tumble Creek, and west to CR 22.

On Sunday morning, the Park County Sheriff and CDOT opened U.S. Highway 285 to all traffic. The speed limit is posted at 50 mph and there is no stopping in the fire area.

Red Canyon Fire 2

Size: 26 acres
Containment: 0
Location: In Wolcott, above Eagle Springs Golf Course
Cause: Unknown

The Red Canyon Fire started July 9 about 2.5 miles east of Wolcott. Evacuations for Red Canyon Estates are still in place for this area. Large animals are being sheltered at the Eagle County Fairgrounds. 

While it's unclear how the fire started, there was lightning in the are and two small fires were reported along the interstate around the same time, according to White River National Forest staff. 

Fore more information, visit Eagle River Fire Protection District on Facebook  or call 970-471-5284. 

Chedsey Fire

Size: 45 acres
Containment: 75 percent
Location: Southwest of Walden, near Teal Lake
Cause: Unknown

Skunk Creek Fire

Size: 200 acres
Containment: unknown
Location: About 30 miles north of Craig near the Wyoming border
Cause: Unknown