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Offbeat Colorado wildfire spreads as winds strengthen

11:21  10 june  2018
11:21  10 june  2018 Source:   reuters.com

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The total number of homes evacuated during the fires burning in southwest Colorado has reached more than 1,300 residential structures, Graham said, and the

The Haines Index, used by firefighters to assess the stability and dryness of air over fires , is at its maximum level of six, officials said.

An aircraft makes a fire retardant drop on a wildfire in the hills and forests near Durango, Colo., Friday, June 8. The blaze in southwestern Colorado forced hundreds of evacuations and was expected to reach homes by Friday, authorities said. © Jerry Day/AP Photo An aircraft makes a fire retardant drop on a wildfire in the hills and forests near Durango, Colo., Friday, June 8. The blaze in southwestern Colorado forced hundreds of evacuations and was expected to reach homes by Friday, authorities said. A stubborn Colorado wildfire grew by around a fifth on Saturday and was expected to continue to grow Sunday, consuming sparsely populated land as low humidity and high winds left firefighters bracing for it to spread, officials said.

An additional 220 homes were evacuated Saturday, said Megan Graham, a spokeswoman for La Plata County, Colorado.

The Latest: Southwestern Colorado wildfire still expanding

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(Reuters) - A stubborn Colorado wildfire grew by around a fifth on Saturday, consuming sparsely populated land as low humidity and high winds left firefighters bracing for it to spread , officials said. "Weather will be a concern this weekend as critical fire weather conditions are expected,".

A stubborn wildfire in the US state of Colorado grew by around a fifth on Saturday, consuming sparsely populated land as low humidity and high winds left firefighters bracing for it to spread , officials said. "Southwest to west winds will be strengthening across southwest Colorado this weekend."

The total number of homes evacuated during the fires burning in southwest Colorado has reached more than 1,300 residential structures, Graham said, and the fire had burnt more than 8,691 acres, according to the last aerial survey, early Saturday, she said.

"It's expected to keep growing, unfortunately," she said.

Fire officials said in a release that the weather will likely make things worse Sunday, as more severe winds are expected.

"Southwest to west winds will be strengthening across south west Colorado this weekend ahead of a Pacific storm that will be tracking across the Northwest Rockies," officials said in a release.

The Haines Index, used by firefighters to assess the stability and dryness of air over fires, is at its maximum level of six, officials said.

National forest to close in Colorado because of fire danger

  National forest to close in Colorado because of fire danger Over 2,800 square miles (7,252 square kilometers) of public land in southwestern Colorado will be closed to campers, hikers and bikers because of the fire danger.DURANGO, Colo. (AP) — Over 2,800 square miles (7,252 square kilometers) of public land in southwestern Colorado will be closed to campers, hikers and bikers because of the fire danger.

(Reuters) - A stubborn Colorado wildfire grew by around a fifth on Saturday and was expected to continue to grow Sunday, consuming sparsely populated land as low humidity and high winds left firefighters bracing for it to spread , officials said.

A stubborn wildfire in the US state of Colorado grew by around a fifth on Saturday, consuming sparsely populated land as low humidity and high winds left firefighters bracing for it to spread , officials said. "Southwest to west winds will be strengthening across southwest Colorado this weekend."

"This indicates that there is a high potential for extreme fire behavior, intensity, and growth," they added.

As of Saturday morning, the Colorado fire remained at 10 percent contained, but it had grown by about 1,500 acres (607 hectares) since Friday, mostly in less inhabited areas to the west that officials said they were monitoring while they concentrate on protecting structures to the east, north and south.

In 2017, a near-record 10 million acres (4 million hectares) were burned in U.S. wildfires, the National Interagency Coordination Center said. The same agency issued a June forecast for "above-normal significant large fire potential" this month in Southern California and the Four Corners region of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah, because of a deepening drought and ample fuel for wildfires.

Firefighters have kept the Colorado fire to the west of Highway 550 and away from structures, county commissioners in La Plata County, Colorado, said in a Saturday Facebook post. Fire officials said in the Saturday update that Highway 550 was closed from mile marker 32 to 47 and pilot cars were escorting traffic through there.

A new blaze about 13 miles to the west, known as the Burro fire, prompted U.S. Forest Service officials on Saturday to close part of the Colorado trail in the San Juan National Forest. (Reporting by Peter Szekely in New York, additional reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien and Richard Pullin)

Crews battling U.S. wildfires face hot, dry conditions before wet weather .
<p>Firefighters battling several unrelenting wildfires in the U.S. southwest will face windy and dry conditions on Friday before possibly getting a reprieve over the weekend when widespread showers and thunderstorms are in the forecast.</p>Red flag warnings are in effect for southern Nevada, southern Utah and western Colorado, where winds gusts could reach 45 miles (72 km) an hour and humidity could reach around 10 percent on Friday, the National Weather Service said.

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