Disaster Emergency Declared As Wildfire Grows

DURANGO, Colo. (CBS4) – Governor John Hickenlooper declared a disaster emergency for the wildfire burning in southwestern Colorado.

The Lightner Fire is burning in the Lightner Creek area, which is about two miles west of Durango.

lightner creek fire 6map frame 922 Disaster Emergency Declared As Wildfire Grows

(credit: CBS)

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fire near durango transfer frame 155 Disaster Emergency Declared As Wildfire Grows

(credit: CBS)

It started when a home caught fire, and has quickly spread due to strong winds. Durango Fire Rescue reports the winds are strong Thursday, too, increasing fire behavior with the warm temperatures.

As a result, additional equipment has been ordered and a Type II Incident command team has been ordered and will be arriving later in the day.

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(credit: CBS)

Hickenlooper’s declaration allows the Colorado National Guard to provide support, if needed.

Air tankers have been making drops on the fire, but had to stop at one point Wednesday when a drone flew into the fire area. That pilot could face charges.

Durango Fire Rescue tweeted around noon on Thursday that all evacuations and pre-evacuation notices, along with road closures, stand and there’s no estimate as to when they may be lifted. Approximately 170 homes have been evacuated.

One home has already been lost.

The county fairgrounds is transitioning to a staging area for firefighters. The new evacuation and reunification center will now be the Escalante Midddle School.

A community hotline on the fire has been established. That number is 970-385-8700.

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