Wildfires have scorched more than 175,000 acres this season, leaving lands stripped of trees, brush and other vegetation. When rains come, water washes down barren landscapes, uprooting fire debris and channeling mudslides and flash floods.
Rocks, dirt, tree limbs, logs and other debris are often swept into floods and slides, creating dangerous situations. Structures, roads, vehicles and energy infrastructure, including power poles and energy lines, can be damaged or destroyed.
A flash flood warning was posted Tuesday, by the National Weather Service, through 9 p.m. for north and central La Plata County.
U.S. 550 north of Durango, in the 416 fire area, was closed from La Plata County Road 203B to Hermosa Meadows Road by a mudslide, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. A section of U.S. 160, in the Chimney Rock area, between Bayfield and Pagosa Springs, was shut down by heavy rains and mudslide, according to San Juan National Forest officials.
The highways were shut down when heavy rains from thunderstorms swept through the area between 5 and 6 p.m., the weather service said. Areas that were flooding included Rockwood, Hermosa and Trimble…
A KOA campground on County Road 250, north of Hermosa, was evacuated Tuesday evening because of mudslides. Evacuated campers were instructed to go to La Plata County County Fairgrounds for safety…
The fire, which started on June 1 about 13 miles north of Durango, has burned more than 54,000 acres and was 50 percent contained Tuesday night.
LAKE CHRISTINE FIRE
The Upper Colorado River Type 3 Incident Management Team assumed command of the fire on Monday. The incident command post is now located at Basalt Fire Station 42, on JW Drive in El Jebel.
Fire crews on Tuesday mopped up and worked on control lines on the west and south flanks of the fire. They were supported by helicopters dropping water on hotspots. Isolated torching is ongoing, but fire spread is limited to the steep, rocky terrain around Basalt Mountain, according to fire officials. “Smoke will be visible in the coming days and may impact residents as interior fuels burn themselves out.”
The fire, which started on July 3 and was human caused, has burned more than 6,800 acres and was 59 percent contained Tuesday night.
SPRING CREEK FIRE
The fire, the third largest in Colorado history, has burned more than 108,000 acres and was 91 percent contained Tuesday night. In 2013, the West Fork Complex fire, which was sparked by lightning, burned 109,049 acres. West Fork holds the No. 2 spot…
The human-caused fire started June 27 about 5 miles northeast of Fort Garland.