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Crews Increase Containment on Colorado Blaze as Western Wildfires Continue to Burn
Published: June 17, 2018
Rainfall left behind by Hurricane Bud helped fire crews battle blazes that continued to burn in Colorado and Wyoming Sunday.
Firefighters were able to increase the containment of the so-called 416 Fire Sunday thanks to the rain, the Associated Press reports. The wildfire that was sparked on June 1 is now 25 percent contained.
Scot Davis, a spokesman for the team coordinating firefighters, told AP that while the rainfall kept the flame from spreading, crews are still working to douse embers that could spark against dry trees and grass.
Officials also expressed concern that the rainfall could trigger flash flooding in the burn scar areas.
"It's going to come down at some point," Davis said at a meeting held Sunday.
Firefighters were able to prevent a fire that broke out Tuesday on a mountain near Silverthorne in Summit County, Colorado, from advancing on two neighborhoods that forced the evacuation of more than 1,300 homes.
By Thursday, the neighborhoods were deemed safe and residents were permitted to return to their homes.
The so-called Buffalo Fire has burned 81 acres and was 75 percent contained as of Saturday.
At one point, the blaze came within a couple hundred yards of one pricey subdivision, but firefighting coupled with "fuel breaks" constructed around the neighborhoods several years ago as part of the county's fire mitigation efforts were able to keep the flames from reaching homes, the Summit Daily reported.
Summit Fire Chief Jeff Berino told AP that the fire, caused by humans, is under investigation.
The fire is one of several blazes burning in Colorado and Wyoming amid dry conditions and severe drought.
416 Fire, Colorado
Hundreds of evacuated residents were permitted to return to their homes Friday after being forced to flee the so-called 416 Fire.
More than 500 of the nearly 2,000 homes placed under evacuation because of the fire were permitted to return home.
The fire burning 10 miles north of Durango had consumed 53 square miles as of Saturday and was 20 percent contained. Fire spokesman
Due to the extreme fire danger, the U.S. Forest Service closed the entire, nearly 3,000-square-mile San Juan National Forest to the public earlier this week.
The closure will remain in effect "until the forest receives sufficient moisture to improve conditions," according to a statement.
The fire danger had already shut down national forests and parks in Arizona and New Mexico, the AP reported.
Badger Creek Fire, Wyoming
Just north of the Colorado border, a blaze near Laramie, Wyoming, exploded in size Tuesday, prompting the evacuation of numerous homes in several small communities and closing roads, the AP said.
The so-called Badger Creek Fire began Sunday and had grown to about 28 square miles by Saturday. The cause of the fire is under investigation and is 0 percent contained.
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