Monsoon moisture is finally arriving in southwest Colorado. But the long-term outlook calls for more drought. KSUT's Mark Duggan explains:

Mark Roper, U.S. Forest Service

Listen this Sunday afternoon at 5 for stories of fire: from the tools of firefighters, to the science of arson, to the genesis of modern fire suppression.

Red Flag Warning for Fire

Jun 4, 2013

The Durango Interagency Fire Dispatch Center reports that southwestern Colorado is under a Red Flag Warning today with predictions of dry lightning storms, low chance of precipitation and low humidity levels.

Roatcap Fire Update October 24, 2012 1:50 p.m.

Oct 24, 2012

Dolores - The Roatcap Fire, which was earlier referenced as the Simon Draw Fire, is now estimated at 100 acres and heading northeast.  Reports are that 100 homes, high-voltage power lines and a Colorado Department of Transportation storage facility are threatened in the area.  The Durango Interagency Fire Dispatch Center has ordered two type 2 firefighting crews (in addition to the type 1 hotshot crew en route from the Vallecito Fire), an initial air attack crew, a type  1 helicopter, single engine air tanker and heavy air tanker.  It is unknown how many of these resources will be available

New Wildfire Reported South of Dolores

Oct 24, 2012

At approximately noon today, fire officials received a report of a fire burning out of control near County 29 and County Rd. P in Montezuma County.

At this time the fire is estimated to be approx. 15-20 acres and headed in a north easterly direction rapidly.

Mandatory evacuations are being implemented in the area and approximately 15-20 evacuations have been made.

Evacuees are asked to check in at the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Substation in Dolores to register.

Arial support has been requested as well as a 20 man fire fighting crew are enroute.

SW Colorado Fire Update – October 23, 2012

Oct 23, 2012

Vallecito Fire

Two 20-person hotshot crews continue to monitor, improve dozer lines and conduct mop-up operations on the Vallecito Fire.  Crews have completed dozer line between the fire and populated areas. The fire is holding steady at 222 acres with 25 percent containment.  Firefighters will remain onsite to monitor the fire’s behavior and call for aircraft as needed.  A type 3 helicopter and single engine air tanker are available, if needed.

Goblin Fire

SW Colorado Fire Update – October 21, 2012, 6:00 PM

Oct 22, 2012

Vallecito Fire

Firefighters completed dozer line south of Hummingbird Lane today; it extends all the way from County Road 501 up to the Freeman Park road. The hotshot crews felled snags along the dozer line to increase the defensibility of the line.  A helicopter made a few bucket drops on the west side this afternoon as the fire made a small push against the line when the wind increased.  The fire is holding steady at 222 acres and 25% containment.

SW Colorado Fire Update – October 20, 2012, 6:30 PM

Oct 21, 2012

Vallecito Fire

The Vallecito Fire was remapped this morning at 222 acres; it is now 25% contained. Firefighters continued to strengthen the dozer line along the southern end of the fire. They also completed most of the dozer line south of Hummingbird Lane, providing a defensive fire break on the north side of the fire. The line should be completed Sunday afternoon. There is still some smoke coming from hot spots inside the fire’s perimeter. Helicopters continued dropping water on hot spots near the perimeter.

Vallecito Fire Update – October 19, 2012, 8:30 AM

Oct 19, 2012

Thursday night’s infrared flight measured the Vallecito fire at 201 acres.

Two heavy airtankers and two helicopters will be available to assist firefighters today with retardant and water drops as needed.  The 20-person Zuni initial attack crew was released this morning and is being reassigned to the Little East fire.

Today, firefighters will be looking for an area near Ho Hum Drive and Hummingbird Lane where they can build some indirect line in the event the fire was to move north.

Vallecito Fire Update – October 18, 2012, 7:00 PM

Oct 19, 2012

Firefighters made good progress on the Vallecito Fire Thursday. The fire is estimated at 230 acres and is now 5% contained. An infrared flight tonight will provide a more accurate acreage as well as help pinpoint hot spots.

Wildfire Update

Oct 18, 2012

Durango – October 18, 2012, 10:30 am - Air resources - including heavy air tankers, single engine air tankers and helicopters - have been ordered to help fight area wildfires.  Weather permitting, these could be arriving by late morning.  The Vallecito Fire is burning about one mile west of Vallecito Reservoir in the San Juan National Forest and has been threatening the Lake Vista Estates subdivision on the west side of Vallecito Reservoir.  The Vallecito Fire is estimated at 200 to 250 acres.  The Little East Fire, estimated at 80 to 100 acres, is burning on private and BL

Homes at Lake Vista Vallecito on Pre-evacuation Notice

Oct 17, 2012

Durango – October 17, 2012, 5:30 pm.- About 20 homes have been placed pre-evacuation notice in the Lake Vista Estates subdivision due to the Vallecito Fire, which is now estimated at 200 to 250 acres.

Homes at Vallecito, East Canyon Threatened by Wildfires

Oct 17, 2012

Durango – October 17, 2012, 5:30pm - The Vallecito Fire was pushed by winds back towards the reservoir this afternoon and is directly threatening homes in the Lakeview Estates subdivision.  Firefighting resources from around La Plata County have responded for structure protection.  The Upper Pine Fire District plans a community meeting at 7 pm at the Outpost near the Shank House for Vallecito residents.  A USFS bulldozer working on fire line earlier today had to be pulled back, and a Red Flag Alert is not allowing for direct air or ground attack. 

Firefighters Responding to Fire at Vallecito

Oct 16, 2012

DURANGO – October 16, 2012, 2:20 pm - Durango Interagency Fire Dispatch reports several new wildfires, apparently the result of lightning holdovers from last Friday, when the area received 9,800 ground strikes during a storm that resulted in little moisture.  The most active fire at this time is the Vallecito Fire, which is estimated at 40 to 50 acres about one mile west of the southern end of Vallecito Reservoir up Jack Creek in the National Forest.  The fire was reported at noon today; its origin is not known but suspected to be lightning that has been smoldering since la

Progress on the Air Park fire and two new fire starts

Jul 27, 2012

Thursday, July 26, 2012 8 pm

Firefighters continued to make good progress on the Air Park fire and yesterday’s fire starts. There were only two new fire starts today, one in Montezuma County and one in Archuleta County.

La Plata County Fires:

Firefighters continue to monitor several small fire starts

Jul 26, 2012

Thursday, July 26, 2012 10:30 AM

Firefighters made good progress on yesterday’s lightning starts, as follows:

North Fire:  100% contained by Durango Fire & Rescue Authority at about 9:30 last night. The fire was located on the Taylor Ranch property in Durango Hills, approximately .2 acre

Cutoff Fire:  100% contained, located on BLM land SE of Helen’s Store and west of Enchanted Forest Estates, approximately .25 acre

Several new fires start in SW Colorado

Jul 26, 2012

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 9PM

Durango - Firefighters and aircraft have been working several new fire starts in southwest Colorado Wednesday afternoon; seven in La Plata County and one each in Archuleta and Montezuma Counties. Three of the fires in La Plata County were located along the County Road 240 corridor:

North:located on the Taylor Ranch property in Durango Hills, approximately .2 acre

Cutoff:  located on BLM land SE of Helen’s Store and west of Enchanted Forest Estates, approximately .25 acre

Rainfall assists firefighters of the Air Park Fire

Jul 24, 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 9:00 AM

Durango -  Late-day rainfall on Monday decreased fire activity across much of the Air Park Fire area. Firefighters came off the fire beginning around 6:00 PM due to the rain. Growth was very moderate yesterday and the fire is now 5% contained.  The fire has burned 499 acres; 405 acres of S. Ute land and 94 acres of Bureau of Reclamation land.

Air Park Fire Update

Jul 23, 2012

Durango - Monday, July, 23, 9 AM

As of 7:00 PM Sunday night the Air Park Fire was measured at 514 acres. The fire burned through the night but did not make any significant runs. A very small amount of precipitation fell over the fire last night. The fire has been backing down the ridge towards Basin Creek. There is no containment on the fire. 

Airpark Fire now estimated at 500 acres

Jul 22, 2012

Sunday, July 22, 2012, 6:15 p.m.

DURANGO-The Airpark Fire, reported at noon today south of Durango, has grown to an estimated 500 acres. The fire has crossed over the ridge to the west and is headed towards Lake Nighthorse. Two heavy helicopters and 2 heavy air tankers are ordered and en route.

Sunday, July 22, 2012, 5:15 p.m.

DURANGO-The Airpark Fire, reported at noon today south of Durango, has grown to an estimated 125 acres. A pre-evacuation order has been put in place and reverse 911 call made to 146 residents in Trappers Crossing and areas northwest of the fire. The smoke column is quite visible from Durango.

Animas Air Park Fire

Jul 22, 2012

A fire is burning  about one mile southwest of the Animas Air Park outside of Durango and is estimated at about 10  acres.

The fire was first reported about noon, Sunday, July 22 and is burning in Pinon and Juniper on Southern Ute Indian Tribal Land.  The fire is very active and is crowing and spotting, according to Ann Bond of the US Forest Service.

There are currently two crews and engines from Durango along with a Southern Ute Fire Department engine and a USFS Type III Helicopter working the fire, with an air tanker on order. 

Fire Restrictions Revised for San Juan National Forest

Jul 16, 2012

EFFECTIVE JULY 13, 2012: Fire restrictions are lifted at higher elevations and eased at lower elevations of the San Juan National Forest, as follows:

Higher Elevation (shown as Zone 2 on maps): Fire restrictions for higher elevations of the San Juan National Forest, which have been receiving more moisture, are hereby lifted; however, visitors are still asked to remain safety conscious in these areas.

Lower Elevation (shown as Zone 1 on maps):

Final Weber Fire Update

Jul 7, 2012

Thursday, July 5, 2012 6:30 pm

MANCOS, Colo. - Russ Reimers' Type 3 incident management organization will transition command of the Weber Fire back to the Tres Rios Field Office on Saturday, July 7.  A majority of the firefighters will return to their home unit or will report to other fires on Friday, July 6.

Weber Fire 85% Contained

Jul 3, 2012

July 2, 2012 at 7 p.m.

MANCOS, Colo. - Today at 6 p.m., the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team C transferred command of the Weber Fire to a Type 3 organization with Russ Reimers as the Incident Commander. Upon the transfer, the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team C indicated the Weber Fire was 85 percent contained and had burned 10,133 acres.

Patrol, mop up and rehabilitation operations are continuing with two helicopters available to assist hand crews.  Evacuated homeowners were allowed to return home, and smoke is not as readily visible.

Weber Fire Moves into Mop-Up Stage

Jul 2, 2012

July 1, 7:30 pm

Smaller Area Fires All Contained

Jul 2, 2012

July 1, 7 p.m.

Escarpment:  Burning on Ute Mountain Ute lands near Mesa Verde. Fire is estimated at 50 acres. Fire was contained 6/30 at 6:45 PM.

HD4:  This fire which started 6/30 in Zabel Canyon in the HD Mountains on the San Juan National Forest, Columbine Ranger District was fully contained today at6:45 PM. Firefighters will continue with mop-up.

Ponderosa:  This fire started on S. Ute lands on 6/29. It was fully contained at 10 acres at 11:20 AM today.


Lightner Creek Fire

Jul 2, 2012

July 1, 7 pm

Weber Fire Burnout Operations Successfully Completed

Jul 1, 2012

June 30, 2012 at 8:30 p.m.

MANCOS, Colo. - After two days of burnout operations on the northern perimeter of the Weber Fire, operations were effectively completed today.  Today's activity removes a significant portion of the remaining heavy fuels that were of concern to fire officials. Officials report the fire size at 10,133 acres (15.8 square miles) and lists containment at 65 percent.  Acreage by ownership is:  BLM - 7,435 acres, Colorado State - 901 acres, and private property 1,797 acres.

Small Fire in the HD Mountians

Jul 1, 2012

June 30, 6:00 PM

HD4:  A new fire in Zabel Canyon in the HD Mountains on the San Juan National Forest, Columbine Ranger District. There are reports of spotting ¼ mile in front of the fire. There is currently one crew and one engine on the fire. Two SEATs, a helitanker, and heavy air tanker have been ordered to assist firefighters. The lightning-caused fire is estimated at 5-10 acres in size and no structures are threatened.

Fire Information Officer:  Pam Wilson, 970-799-1179

Durango Interagency Fire Dispatch