Fire danger to shut much of Cibola National Forest

Entire San Juan National Forest To Be Closed To Public

Entire San Juan National Forest To Be Closed To Public

The more than 800 firefighters working that blaze have employed every measure in the book to keep homes along the perimeter out of harm's way, including burning grasses and bushes ahead of the fire, bulldozing and shoveling fire breaks, dropping retardant from a small fleet of aircraft and installing sprinkling systems.

Wildfires continued burning across parts of Colorado Tuesday, as firefighters rushed to contain the flames ignited amid a unsafe drought across the western U.S.

Fires in New Mexico have also caused Forest Service authorities to close the Santa Fe National Forest and Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands. A total of 1,029 firefighters are tackling the 416 wildfire, which is now 15% contained, according to La Plata County officials.

UPDATE (2 p.m.): According to the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland Twitter, the communities of Beehive, Gramm, & Miller Lake communities are being evacuated by Albany County officials. "As we have proved time and time again, Coloradans are resilient". Investigators have not said how many or what type of structures burned.

Images from the scene showed thick smoke pouring into the air and aerial firefighting resources trying to tamp down the blaze.

Some families returned home Wednesday even though the 416 Fire just north of Durango continues to grow and a new pre-evacuation notice has been issued for 163 homes and two businesses.

The fire has only been 15% contained since it was first reported on June 1.

The cause of the blaze, which is being called the 416 Fire, which started June 1 in the San Juan National Forest, has not been determined. Knowingly violating the closures brings a mandatory federal court appearance and could draw a fine of up to $5,000 and six months in prison.

In Utah, a fast moving fire destroyed multiple structures including 8 homes.

The Cibola National Forest announcement won't affect Albuquerque Open Space trails until those trails cross into the National Forest, said Philip Clelland, a spokesman for Albuquerque Parks and Recreation Department. Both state and local public health agencies have issued air quality advisories to stay inside until smoke clears, and have warned those who have health risks to be extra cautious.

The lightning-sparked fire has burned 170 acres (69 hectares) on the Mogollon Rim since it began Wednesday in Cococino County.

They say Thursday's weather won't do them any favors, but things are expected to get better after that. There have been no reports of homes being damaged by the blaze.

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