DURANGO, Colo. (CBS4) — More people living near the 416 Fire burning north of Durango who were evacuated are being allowed to return home on Thursday.
Another 375 homes and 19 businesses were in the area where the evacuation orders were lifted. That’s more than half of those initially evacuated.
The fire has grown to more than 29,000 acres and is burning mostly in pine beetle kill timber areas.
PHOTO GALLERY: 416 Fire
The wildfire is only 15 percent contained but there is good news: some evacuation orders have been lifted along Highway 550.
Additional Information from the La Plata County Sheriff:
Residents, businesses along U.S Highway 550 north from Honeyville to Glacier Club on west; Mead/Albrecht Lane north to Rockwood can re-enter from noon to 8 p.m.
From 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, residents and businesses evacuated due to the #416Fire on the west side of U.S. Highway 550 from mile marker 33.5 at Honeyville north to the Glacier Club entrance at mile marker 39.5 can return to their homes and businesses. This includes Animas Village and Pine Acres.
Residents and businesses on the east side of U.S. Highway 550 to the Animas River from Mead/Albrecht Lane north to Rockwood may also return to their homes and businesses. This includes The Ranch and Goodman subdivisions.
In total, 375 residences and 19 businesses can re-enter beginning at noon Thursday.
In order to enter these areas, residents must show their RapidTag credentials, which are available at Trimble Crossing at the intersection of U.S. Highway 550 and Trimble Lane and at the highway’s northern closure point at mile marker 49.5 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and at Escalante Middle School, 141 Baker Lane in Durango from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
These residences and businesses will remain under pre-evacuation orders, and residents will be subject to the limited opening hours of U.S. Highway 550, which will close Thursday at 8 p.m. The highway is scheduled to be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, with law enforcement escort.
Law enforcement escorts for through traffic on U.S. Highway will continue during the re-entry period.
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