Colorado wildfire update: Mandatory evacuation order issued for area near Durango – The Denver Post

Officials issued a mandatory evacuation order for an area near Durango after a wildfire flared up on the border of Montezuma and La Plata counties Sunday afternoon.

The notice was for all residents in the Elk Springs subdivision south of U.S. 160 and Montezuma County Road 46. Additional evacuations were underway on La Plata County Road 105 due to the same fire, Montezuma County spokeswoman Vicki Shaffer said.

Multiple crews are working to contain the blaze after it broke out on Menefee Peak some time after noon Sunday.

Called the East Canyon fire, it was first reported to be burning 40 acres but is expected to grow, Shaffer said. The cause remains unknown. Smoke could be seen from U.S. 160 as resources responded to the blaze, including two single engine air tankers, one large air tanker, two helicopters and the San Juan Hotshot crew.

“We’ve been under fire warnings for days,” Shaffer said. “It’s very dry here and very windy and very hot.”

A second wildfire, called the Loading Pen fire, has burned up approximately 30 to 40 acres in Montezuma County after being caused by a lightning strike Saturday, Shaffer said. It is located on U.S. Highway 145 near mile marker 28.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued an air quality health advisory due to the wildfire smoke.

Fire danger remained high across the state Sunday, with red flag warnings issued by the National Weather Service for multiple areas.

In addition, a grass fire also broke out at 132nd Avenue and U.S. 85 on Sunday morning, Brighton Fire Rescue tweeted, but it was put out and no structures were damaged.

This story will be updated.

Click markers for details, use buttons to change what wildfires are shown. Incident types are numbered 1-5 — a type 1 incident is a large, complex wildfire affecting people and critical infrastructure, a type 5 incident is a small wildfire with few personnel involved. Find more information about incident types at the bottom of this page.

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