Wildfire update: More than 2,500 homes evacuated by fires across Colorado | SteamboatToday.com

Wildfire update: More than 2,500 homes evacuated by fires across Colorado

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 11:15 a.m. 

DENVER — More than 2,500 homes are under evacuation orders in Colorado as firefighters battle over a half dozen wildfires around the state.

Most of the evacuations in effect Monday were due to a 78-square-mile wildfire in southern Colorado that authorities believe was human caused.

The Costilla County Sheriff’s Office announced Saturday that 52-year-old Jesper Joergensen, of Denmark, was arrested on arson charges. Investigators haven’t released other details except to say they don’t think he intentionally started the fire.

Immigration officials have requested that they be able to take custody of him if he is released from jail.

About 570 homes are evacuated near a 2.4-square-mile fire that started Friday near Florissant. About 360 children at a camp also had to be evacuated by the Chateau Fire.

From The Associated Press

Update on wildfires burning across Colorado

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Spring Creek Fire

• Size: 50,033 acres
• Containment: 5 percent
• Location: 9 miles northeast of Ft. Garland
• Start date: June 27
• Cause: human
• More info: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5875/
• Photos: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/SpringCreekFire/

52-year-old man named Jesper Joergensen faces arson charges in connection with the Spring Creek fire that’s burning east of Fort Garland in Costilla and Huerfano counties.

It’s the largest fire currently burning in Colorado. Hundreds of people have been forced to evacuate and an undetermined number of homes have burned, according to the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team.

The fire, which started Wednesday, spread so quickly that firefighters couldn’t count the number of buildings it destroyed.

Read more at DenverPost.com.

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416 Fire

• Size: 49,301
• Containment: 37 percent
• Location: 13 miles north of Durango
• Start date: June 1
• Cause: unknown
• More info: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5822/
• Photos: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/416Fire/

The 416 fire north of Durango is the second largest fire currently burning in Colorado. Nearly 50,000 acres have burned since it first started June 1.

The good news is the cooler weather and higher humidity has slowed the fire’s progress and helped firefighters get a better handle on the blaze, Incident Commander Joe Reinarz wrote in a statement.

The bad news is the cold front changed where the wind is blowing, which means more smoke for southern communities in Hermosa and Durango as well as other folks along the Highway 550 corridor.

From DenverPost.com.

Badger Creek Fire

• Size: 21,190 acres
• Containment: 80 percent
• Location: Snowy Range and Medicine Bow National Forests, Wyoming
• Start date: June 10
• Cause: under investigation
• More info: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5836/
• Photos: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/BadgerCreekFire/

Highways 230 and 10 are open as firefighters continue to fight the Badger Creek fire that straddles the border between Colorado and Wyoming near Mountain Home.

The fire, which has been burning since June 10, has spread to more than 21,000 acres.

Albany County Emergency Management has issued a pre-evacuation notice for people who live along Highway 10 north of New Jelm to Woods Landing, Highway 230 from Woods Landing to the Fox Creek Road turnoff and folks along north along Fox Creek Road to Forest Road 311A.

A pre-evacuation notice means homeowners don’t have to leave just yet, but they should be prepared in case a mandatory evacuation order happens soon.

From DenverPost.com.

Flames engulf brush along the side of Moffat County Road 7.

Divide Fire

• Size: 5,136 acres
• Containment: 100 percent
• Location: 32 miles north of Craig
• Start date: June 29

The Great Divide Fire, which began northwest of Craig on Friday near Moffat County Roads 7 and 5, about 32 miles north of Craig near Great Divide, has been seen “significant containment,” according to the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office.

As of 4 p.m. Sunday, the Sheriff’s Office was reporting that weather, fire conditions and firefighting efforts Saturday allowed for significant containment progress, and the fire was anticipated to be placed in a 100-percent containment status by the end of the day Sunday.

From CraigDailyPress.com.

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Burro Fire

• Size: 4,415 acres
• Containment: 80 percent
• Location: San Juan National Forest
• Start date: June 8
• Cause: under investigation
• More info: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5834/
• Photos: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/BurroFire/

The Burro fire continues to burn through rugged and steep terrain in the San Juan National Forest in Montezuma County.

It started June 8 and continued to grow over the weekend, reaching 4,400 acres in the Bear Creek Canyon area.

The San Juan National Forest has reopened most trails and roads; however, the Colorado Trail is still closed from Molas Pass south to Junction Creek. And the Hermosa Creek Wilderness is closed, according to InciWeb.

From DenverPost.com.

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Weston Pass Fire

• Size: 1,500 acres
• Containment: zero percent
• Location: 9 miles southwest of Fairplay
• Start date: June 28
• Cause: lightning
• More info: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5876/
• Photos: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/WestonPassFire/

A lighting strike started the Weston Pass fire Friday, and it’s already spread to more than 1,500 acres.

People who live in the immediate vicinity were ordered to evacuate, but folks in the Black Mountain, Core and Thousand Peak subdivisions were told to prepare for an evacuation.

Fairplay opened its community center and fairgrounds for people who need a place to stay.

From DenverPost.com.

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Chateau Fire

• Size: 1,328 acres
• Containment: zero percent
• Location: northeast of Cripple Creek
• Start date: June 29
• Cause: under investigation
• More info: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5878/
• Photos: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/ChateauFire/

More than 1,000 homes are under mandatory or pre-evacuation orders because of the High Chateau fire, which started Friday afternoon northeast of Cripple Creek.

The Teller County Sheriff’s Office estimated that four or five structures have burned in the fire, but the office doesn’t know whether they were homes or outbuildings.

“The main threat (Sunday) will be erratic gusty winds,” Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team Commander Todd Pechota wrote in a press release.

From DenverPost.com.

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Sugarloaf Fire

• Size: 1,200 acres
• Containment: zero
• Location: 13 miles southwest of Fraser
• Start date: June 28
• Cause: lightning
• More info: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5872/
• Photos: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/SugarloafFire/

The Sugarloaf Fire is burning in a remote area near Ute Pass. According to authorities, a smoke and air quality monitor has been installed near the Henderson Mill to detect smoke levels from the fire.

The Sugarloaf Fire is a suppression fire with the number one goal of reducing risk to the public and firefighters. Contingency plans are in place if conditions change.

From SummitDaily.com.

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