Saguache News – June 11

Smoky Skies Signal 416 Wildfire Danger

Residents in Saguache Today will continue to see smoke in the skies being carried over from the 416 Fire in neighboring La Plata County. And with that haze, backcountry travelers may also find some travel restrictions in place. Please be situational aware and remain vigilant.

416 Fire_Saguache Today2_Rogowski

It’s #allhandsondeck for the 416 Wildfire in nearby La Plata County as 9 Type 1 hand crews, 11 Type 2 hand crews, 44 engines, 5 dozers, 4 water tenders and 8 helicopters attack the ever-growing flames in the San Juan Mountains. Photo: Saguache Today/ Jennifer Brown – Rogowski

Here is the official information from incident command:

The 416 Fire started at about 10 a.m. on June 1, 2018, approximately 10 miles north of Durango, CO. The fire is burning on the west side of State Highway 550 on some private land and on the San Juan National Forest. The fire is burning in grass, brush, and timber. The local Type 3 organization assisted with the management of the fire until Sunday at 0600 and the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Blue Team began managing the fire. Fire behavior has been moderate, and on the east side of the fire it is backing down to 550 Highway. The south and west sides of the fire are the Hermosa Watershed and the fire is moving slowly into the watershed. The terrain is rough and inaccessible in many areas. 

As of Sunday night at 8 p.m., officials were able to provide the following 416 Fire Update from Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team- Todd Pechota, Incident Commander

Weather: Critical fire weather conditions persisted today as predicted. Winds gusted up to 35 to 40 mph on the ridges, causing increased fire behavior and intensity in Divisions H and D on the western side. Winds should calm this evening. Smoke will be heavy and low at nighttime in the valley, and visibility will be restricted in some areas.

Monday will be dry once again, but wind speeds should decrease. Winds will be calm in the morning until around 10:30 a.m., and will increase to 10 to 15 mph from the west/southwest in the afternoon. Occasional gusts may reach 25 mph after 1:30 p.m. Temperatures will be in the high 70s to low 80s and relative humidity may remain as low as single digits.

Current Situation: Large smoke columns and flames could be seen today as fire behavior intensified near the Lower Hermosa Campground and burned conifer stands in Divisions D and H. The fire in this area is behaving as predicted. Aircraft continue to monitor Division H on the west. Note: Residents should be aware that they will continue to see smoke and smoldering in already burned areas inside the fire perimeter.

Closures and Public Safety: Highway 550 is closed until further notice. For up to date information on road closures visit Evacuations are in place for several areas in the fire vicinity. For up to date information on the status of evacuations, please contact the La Plata County Emergency Operations Center at 970-385-8700 or visit

Fire Statistics:

  • Location: 13 miles north of Durango, CO Start Date: June 1, 2018
  • Size: 16,766 acres Percent Contained: 10
  • Total Personnel: 813 Cause: Under Investigation
  • Resources Include: 9 Type 1 hand crews, 11 Type 2 hand crews, 44 engines, 5 dozers, 4 water tenders
  • Helicopters: Four Type 1, two Type 2, and two Type 3
416 Fire_Saguache Today_Rogowski

The 416 Wildfire doubled in size on Sundays as large smoke columns and flames could be seen today as far away as Saguache Today. Photo: Saguache Today/ Jennifer Brown-Rogowski.

2 responses to “Saguache News – June 11

  1. Thanks for this update Kathy. I’m a map person, maps are so helpful.


  2. Lynn Sutherland

    I wish to send a shout out–that on Fathers Day June 17th at the Museum is a free program at 1:30 p.m by Mary Morfitt and Virginia Sutherland about the life and times of the sheep industry here in Saguache County with it’s up and downs,rewards,and life on the sheep trails and other adventures that happened in the sheep business-Should be a real hoot and Free–then after that enjoy the Library’s Hogs and Hot air meal at 5p.p


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