Driving winds fan Colorado wildfire, 2,000 homes under evacuation

Posted June 15, 2018

Crews continued to work along the southwest side of the fire near County Road 205, where the fire is most active.

"Under current conditions, one abandoned campfire or spark could cause a catastrophic wildfire, and we are not willing to take that chance with the natural and cultural resources under our protection and care, or with human life and property", said Richard Bustamante, SJNF forest fire staff officer.

"Weather is going to continue to play a role over the next few days, continuing to influence some of our decisions and the fire behavior", Jamie Knight, a 416 fire spokeswoman, told the Denver Post.

The Buffalo fire is burning in an area of unincorporated Summit County near the Wildernest and Mesa Cortina subdivisions - where residents of about 1,400 units were ordered to flee immediately.

No one has been hurt and no structures have burned down, Graham said.

LARAMIE, Wyo. - A wildfire has started in the Snowy Range in southern Wyoming, forcing evacuations of several small communities and backcountry campers.

As of 2:45 p.m., Summit Fire & EMS reports 1,384 homes have evacuated while another 1,160 are on pre-evacuation notice.

The fire danger had already shut down national forests and parks in Arizona and New Mexico, the AP reported.

Evacuees are being asked by Albany County to email ema@co.albany.wy.us with accurate contact information so that consistent information sharing can be maintained.

Todd Pechota's Type 1 Incident Management Team is handling both fires.

On Tuesday, InciWeb, a federal database of USA fires, showed the wildfire was 92% contained, and said Cimarron Canyon State Park will be closed through July 4.

A 32-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 550, which has served as a buffer for homes on the eastern edge of the fire, was closed, officials said.

Forest Service spokesman Aaron Voos says additional firefighting resources were being requested Monday.

Crews continue an aggressive air and ground response on Wednesday to contain the fire and protect homes in the area.

The fire is still under investigation.

Voos said Highway 230 remains open, however visibility could be obscured at times due to smoke.

There are still more than a thousand homes evacuated. This means that forest campgrounds, day use areas, roads, and trails will be closed, including wilderness areas, and that hiking, dispersed camping, and other recreational activities are prohibited.

The U.S. Forest Service also is planning to bar recreation in a handful of ranger districts in the Cibola National Forest outside of Albuquerque beginning Friday.