From The Denver Post (Natalie Weber, July 18, 2018):
Heavy rains and mudslides brought road closures and flooding in parts of La Plata County on Tuesday. The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad announced it would be canceling service Wednesday due to mudslides which had impacted train tracks.
Ash and mud flows from the 416 Fire have caused the deaths of “probably thousands of fish” throughout the Animas River, though officials have not conducted an official survey, Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Joe Lewandowski said.
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.
Spring Creek Fire
The Spring Creek Fire, which has burned through more than 108,000 acres and is the third-largest fire in Colorado history, was 91 percent contained Tuesday night.
According to the National Weather Service, the La Veta area is expected to be mostly sunny Wednesday, with a 10 percent chance of showers after 2 p.m. The chance of showers will increase to 40 percent Friday night and then return to a 20 percent throughout the majority of the weekend.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials have been working with staff at Trinchera Ranch, a privately owned ranch formerly colloquially known as “Forbes Ranch.” Due to ash and mudflows, Rio Grande cutthroat trout fish on the property have been threatened. Parks and Wildlife officials have used “electro-fishing” to stun the fish, capture them and take them to a hatchery.
“Rio Grande [trouts] are a rare fish and we want to maintain the genetic diversity of those fish and maintain that population,” Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Joe Lewandowski said.
Lake Christine Fire
Pre-evacuation orders for Basalt and El Jebel residents were lifted Wednesday morning, fire officials said. They expected hot and dry conditions to continue into the weekends, with no weather advisories as of Wednesday morning.
According to the National Weather Service, Basalt expected a high of 92 degrees Wednesday with a low of 50 degrees. This weekend, temperatures are expected to range from the low 50’s to the high 80’s. Throughout Saturday and Sunday, the chance of showers is slight.
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.