DURANGO, Colo. – The 416 Fire has doubled its size in about 24 hours. It’s grown to more than 16,700 acres about 10 miles north of Durango.
Officials say they saw significant growth on the west and northwest sides, as they expected.
La Plata County officials issued new mandatory evacuation notices for residents in Purgatory, Lake Purgatory, Silver Pick Lodge, Cascade Village, Mill Creek and all residences on both sides of U.S. 550 between mile markers 46.5 to 53.1.
A CodeRED notification has been sent to affected homeowners.
U.S. 550 has been closed until further notice from the San Juan County line to Cometti Lane. Evacuees, however, will be escorted through the closure zone.
Officials say they expect critical fire weather conditions with wind becoming more active by 10 a.m. They add that the stability and dryness levels over the fire are rated as the highest, most extreme for Sunday.
The fire is 10 percent contained, and an air quality advisory is still in effect for the region because of the amount of smoke laying over the area.
Escalante Middle School is serving as an evacuation center.
Livestock can be evacuated to the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Animal owners can call the emergency call center at (970) 385-8700 can help coordinate pick-up of livestock. Small animals are being accepted at the La Plata County Humane Society.