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Fire Update

Hotline Number: 970-385-8700

Friday, June 1st

Saturday, June 2nd

Sunday, June 3rd

Monday, June 4th

Tuesday, June 5th

The Needles at 3 PM

The Needles at 7 PM

Wednesday, June 6th

This is Joe Carey's summation of the informational meeting held Tuesday evening.

The concern right now is that the fire will spread down the Hermosa Creek drainage into Hermosa, and then possibly jump to the east side of Highway 550. Most of the resources are concentrated in this area to prevent this from happening.

Thursday, June 7th

6:45 AM:     We were told yesterday afternoon that today would see "extreme" conditions as far as firefighting is concerned. Warm and dry, winds from the SW gusting to 25 mph. Here at Purgatory it's smokier, both in sight and smell, than it has been the past several mornings.

7:00 AM:     Just read in the Durango Herald that Hermosa is now under mandatory evacuation. Read the story here. This includes Dave Dunn, who I spoke with a few minutes ago. He said that the roadblock on 550, which had been at the northern entrance to CR250, has been moved several miles south to around the bridge over Hermosa Creek. At the moment, 550 is closed at least until 10:00, or until they complete the evacuation. It's very smoky in the area, and we can probably anticipate that 550 will be closed all day (that's not official, just my speculation; call the hotline for a definitive answer).

8:50 AM:     With regard to Eric Tibbetts' note of a couple days ago, I just got off the phone with Nationwide Insurance. The person I spoke with is going to get back to me to see if my policy covers expenses incurred by a mandatory evacuation. Everyone should probably do the same. Some companies may cover these, some may not. If they are covered, a deductible may apply. The best thing to do at this point is to save all of your receipts and contact your agent. Remember that these are insurance companies........YMMV.

10:15 AM     This is the latest information we've gotten from the command center:

       1. The fire increased last night to just over 5,000 acres.

       2. It has reached the Lower Hermosa Campground on CR 201. This is on the southwest corner of the fire, just northwest of Hermosa.

       3. There are 6 helicopters flying at this time, but the slurry bombers are not. There are 3 reasons for this.             

Photo from this morning's edition of the

Durango Herald.

A. The slurry is not very effective in such dry conditions.

B. It is also not very effective in windy conditions. It gets dispersed before reaching the ground.

C. The tree canopy is so thick that the slurry does not reach the ground where it would be most effective.

1:20 PM   My earlier tirade at the Durango Herald notwithstanding, check out this series of photos. Tamarron owners and residents should recognize the location.

4:00 PM   I just came back from the information center here at Purgatory, but there isn't too much new to report. They are waiting on an update themselves from the field. A number of people have asked why it's been so difficult to suppress this fire, and there are a number of factors: topography, ready availability of fuel, etc. The weather has played a big part in this. and I just learned about something called the Haines Index. Wikipedia describes it as "a weather index developed by meteorologist Donald Haines in 1988 that measures the potential for dry, unstable air to contribute to the development of large or erratic wildland fires." The scale goes from 1 to 6, with 6 being the most severe. We're at a 6. I'm sure this isn't telling anyone anything they didn't already know, but now it's confirmed by Donald Haines.

8:10 PM   We learned a couple hours ago that we have lost power at Tamarron. We received a couple of conflicting reports as to how/why that happened. Click here for the official word from LPEA. We do not have any word at this time as to when power will be restored.

8:25 PM   On a lighter note, it is indeed a small world: Mark and I just returned from the information center after getting the latest updates from Sean, Neil, Jeni, and Vicki. It turns out that Vicki is from Kansas, and is married to a guy from Medford, Massachusetts (or as we would say back East, "Mehfid"; she recognized the bastardization of the name). He also went to Malden Catholic High School and graduated in 1987. This was during the same time frame in which I taught at St. John's Prep in Danvers, Mass., and the two schools were big sports rivals. We traded a few stories, and I'm hoping to meet him before this crew leaves on Saturday. There's no point to this story except, as I said, it's a small world.

Friday, June 8th

7:30 AM   The size of the fire has grown to approximately 7,100+ acres. The weather today will be much like yesterday, with slightly higher temperatures but slightly lower wind gusts. All in all, we can expect the same general conditions.

                  A note to those who read and follow the official morning and evening updates: You might have noticed that the size of the fire yesterday morning was listed as 5,103 acres, and last evening it was also listed as 5,103 acres. This gives the false impression that it did not grow in size yesterday. I received an explanation for this from the information officer this morning. Each evening they do a flyover with infrared cameras to determine the extent of the fire. This number is what appears on the morning update. However, because the flyover doesn't happen until after the evening update is posted, the number doesn't change until the next morning. She recognized the potential for misinterpretation in the general public and suggested that they may not post the evening update until they complete the flyover. With the changeover in the management team tomorrow, I don't expect that to happen, so going forward I would take the evening number with a grain of salt.

                  The GOOD news: Power came back on at Tamarron around 11:30 last night. Dave Dunn was on property and re-set all the alarms before going home for some sleep. I spoke with him a couple minutes ago, and he said that everything is still intact at Tamarron. However, there's going to be a good bit of cleanup required once we get back, due to the amount of ash and dust in the air. He has closed all the windows on property, but ash and dust will find its way inside no matter what. Once again, thanks, Dave.

10:05 AM

12:00 Noon   I've included the latest map in the scroll to the right so that you can see the extent of the fire as of this morning. I spoke with Travis Bailey, the Logistics Section Chief here at Purgatory just a little while ago and, per Eric Tibbetts, offered him the use of our parking lots in case they need to stage some assets closer to the fire. 

A few notes:

     1. To the best of his knowledge (and I emphasize that caveat), no structures have burned. While the fire did advance to the south, they were able to direct it up the draws in that area instead of down. Crews were working on-site until midnight last night.

     2. The roadblock on the north side has been moved farther north to just beyond the Needles Country Store. The store is still accessible, but anyone wishing to go there will have to wait in line for the escorted caravan.

     3. As of 30 minutes ago, they were still allowing vehicles to pass through the burn area in the usual escorted fashion. That may change, depending on conditions.

     4. Weather conditions will not be improving anytime soon, from a firefighting perspective. The Weather Channel is showing our relative humidity as 6% today.

This is a series of maps showing the extent of the fire. Instead of reproducing this slideshow each day, I'll add maps to this one as I get them. 

Saturday, June 9th

10:00 AM   A few updates:

       1. The fire crossed Hermosa Creek last night, northwest of Hermosa. This is unfortunate, but not unexpected. At the time of this writing, it is not known the extent to which it has crossed Hermosa Creek. Crews were busy last night and this morning establishing firebreaks to prevent it from traveling southward and threatening Hermosa.

       2. The command center is moving from Purgatory to the Animas Valley Elementary School, just south of Hermosa. They will continue to stage assets here at Purgatory as well, but the bulk of the operation will move south. There will still be an information office at Purgatory, so we hope to be able to continue to get timely information.

       3. There was talk of evacuating Purgatory in the next day or two. See update below.

       4. At this time, we have not received the latest map of the fire. When that comes in it will be included in the scroll above.

       5. I was able to look at the large map of the fire at the command center before it was taken down this morning. It shows the fire perimeter outlined in red, with the 10% containment line outlined in black. While I'm reluctant to write this, the good news is that the black line is directly opposite the Tamarron property. But please understand the fluidity of this situation; this could change at any time, and very quickly. We are far from being out of the woods.

Heather sent this e-mail this morning with some added information.

Purgatory notice of potential evacuation

5:30 PM  Here at Purgatory, we received notice of a possible imminent evacuation around 11:00 this morning. Unfortunately, that meant packing everything up and waiting for the sirens. Oddly, the people at the command center as well as the La Plata County hotline hadn't heard about this, and so far it hasn't happened. Those of us at Purg will most likely hunker down for at least one more night. 

                Many of the personnel who were stationed at the command post here at Purgatory have now relocated the the Animas Valley Elementary School, including the contacts I had made here. Therefore, information gathering will be a little more problematic. I strongly urge everyone to click on the links at the top of this page and follow their posts.

                As of this morning, the fire had grown to 8,691 acres, and containment remained at 10%. We won't know until tomorrow morning how much it grew today. Here are several photos taken today; 3 by Joe Carey from south of the fire, and one of the sky here at Purgatory this afternoon.

Looking northwest

Looking north

This is Eric Tibbett's summation of the community meeting held Saturday evening.

For those who would like to view the video of this evening's community meeting,

click here.

Afternoon sky over Purgatory

Looking northeast

For those who are still staying at Purgatory, we received this message this evening.

Click to enlarge.

Sunday, June 10th

7:30 AM  A few early notes:

           1. Today's weather may be the worst yet for firefighting. It will continue to be hot and dry, with winds from the southwest possibly gusting to over 30 mph. Heather Dawson suggests that you follow this website for the best weather updates for Durango. He also has some maps and insights on the fire that you may not get elsewhere.

           2. Dave Dunn reported that this is the worst smoke morning between Hermosa and Tamarron so far. (Yes, Dave continues to be on property through all of this.) He is beginning to get smoke alarm activations in the common areas where smoke can infiltrate easier. He believes that individual units are holding up better. Keep in mind that the smoke alarms do NOT trigger the sprinkler systems; those are activated by heat.

           3. Normally the morning is relatively clear here at Purgatory, as the winds die down in the evening and switch to a light breeze from the north during the night. However, there is quite a bit of smoke between here and the Needles this morning, so we can only imagine what it's like farther south.

           4. As of last evening, there were 9 Type I hand crews and 11 Type II hand crews battling the fire, with a total of 813 personnel on location.

10:25 AM    The fire has grown to 16,766 acres as of this morning. That is basically double the size from yesterday morning. The latest map has been included in the scroll above.

A mandatory evacuation has just been ordered for those areas north to the county line. This includes Purgatory, Cascade Village, and those subdivisions in the area. Those of us who have been staying at Purgatory will be heading out soon. Posts on this website will begin again when we find a new place to stay with internet service.

7:30 PM   Purgatory and points north to the county line were evacuated today. Some evacuees headed north to Silverton or Ouray, while the rest of us were escorted south through the burn zone to Durango. For now, Mark and I are staying at Vallecito for the next night or two; after that............?

                  On the way south, I videotaped the drive from around Needles Country Store to Hermosa. I am hoping to upload that video sometime tonight, but I can't guarantee that. When I do, I'll post the link below. The first question that those who view it will ask is, "So what's the problem?" There are several things which cannot be stressed enough:

                   1. The video was taken in the morning, before the winds picked up.

                   2. The video was taken along the 550 corridor, which places severe limitations on what can be seen to the west.

                   3. Much of this area, especially across from Tamarron had already burned, so activity there is limited.

Once the video is posted, compare it with the sequence of photos below. These were taken around 2:00 this afternoon from Hillcrest, and the entire sequence takes place in about 30 minutes. You can get an idea of the active nature of this fire. To the left (west) in many of them you'll be able to see the plume from the Burro Fire. These two are only about 10 miles apart.

At the moment, 550 is completely closed. We'll have to see if they open it in the morning for escorted traffic. However, an official from the Emergency Services Center told me this evening that residents can only enter Tamarron to retrieve necessary medical equipment (oxygen, etc.). If you need prescription medicine, you will need to contact your physician for a refill, or call Mercy hospital; they are setting up a program to assist in this.

Lord of the Rings fans may recognize this exchange between Frodo and Gandalf:

            Frodo: "I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened."

            Gandalf: "So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with                               the time that is given to us."

Monday, June 11th

Note that the heading in this update says "June 10th", but it is actually this morning's update. This morning's map has also been incorporated into the scroll above.

11:00 AM   1. Dave Dunn continues to be on property and reports that everything at Tamarron is much the same as yesterday. He has had to alternate opening and closing the doors to the Lodge in order to start airing it out, and then prevent smoke from entering as it moves into the area. Once again, there has not been any fire damage on property.

                    2. Owners may want to contact their insurance companies sooner rather than later to have an adjuster come and determine the extent of any smoke damage to their units. Three months down the road, companies may not honor a claim that they feel was not made in a timely fashion.

                    3. All mail to Tamarron is being held at the Post Office in town on West 8th Street. If you are expecting any medications, checks, or other important mail, that's where it should be. The phone number for the Post Office is 970-247-3434.

                    4. UPS and Fedex deliveries to Tamarron have also been suspended during the fire. If you are expecting a delivery from those shippers, check your tracking number to find where it is being held.

7:30 PM    Around 3:30 this afternoon, Eric Tibbetts, Joe Carey, Mark Schmidt, and I visited the information center at the Animas Valley Elementary School. There wasn't a great deal of new information at the time, but we did learn a few interesting things:

                   1. While the terrain has been difficult, and the weather continues to be highly problematic, the fire has not been all that unpredictable. For the most part, it has done what they have expected, given the circumstances.

                   2. Tomorrow's weather will be similar to today's, but with slightly lower wind gusts.

                   3. When we arrived in Hermosa, the scene looked truly ugly (see the photos below), as the fire seemed to be moving south on the west side of Hermosa Creek in the area of a number of homes. However, we learned that some of what we were seeing was actually planned. In a number of places, they used backburning techniques to actually bring the fire downhill in a slow and controlled fashion, direct it around homes, and then extinguish the flames. In that way they can protect the buildings while at the same time use up the fuel in that area.

                   4. While we were outside the school, we saw a number of helicopters flying over the fire dumping water. There were times when we could see 3 helicopters at a time in a single field of view.

                   5. They have established very good lines of defense in the areas around Purgatory, using existing trails as well as bulldozing new lines. This is in case the fire loops around from the southwest and threatens that area.

                   6. The area along 550 across from Tamarron continues to be quiet, while heavy smoke moves in and out depending on the wind strength and directions.

                   7. To learn a little bit about the individuals fighting the fire, click here.

Note that they are now reporting that the fire is 15% contained.

Latest Burro Fire Map

Tuesday, June 12th

8:30 AM   The official update has not come through yet, but I expect that in the next hour or so. In the meantime, this is a post on the Incident Management website. Again, note that the containment is now at 15%, and the size of the fire is 23,378 acres. Expect the latter figure to be higher when this morning's update is posted.

This notice is on the La Plata County website:  "In partnership with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs and the Colorado Office of Emergency Management, La Plata County will host a Disaster Assistance Center from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday at the La Plata County Fairgrounds to connect residents affected by the 416 Fire with resources and services. Additional dates will be forthcoming."

The video of the Sunday drive-though of the burn area finally finished uploading to YouTube last night. You'll find the link to it in the Sunday post above. Again I'll remind everyone that while the scene in this video looks pretty benign, you're getting an extremely limited view of the overall scene. The purpose of posting it is more to give owners some reassurance that Tamarron is still intact, other than the inevitable smoke issues that we'll find when we return. Things could be much worse.

11:50 AM   See the official update to the right. One thing in particular which stands out:

                    "Residents should be aware that, in the coming days, there will be significant

planned burn out operations in the area bordered by Junction Creek Rd./FR 171 on the

west and Falls Creek Rd./CR 205 on the east. These operations will be conducted to remove

fuel between the fire’s edge and planned containment areas. Smoke and flames will be seen

from Durango. We will update as info is available."

                   The latest map of the fire has been added to the scroll.

12:00 Noon   First National Bank of Durango is participating in the newly established Disaster Assistance Center at LaPlata County Fairgrounds. Click on the link to the right to view a flyer that details the 416 Fire Hardship Unsecured Loan that FNBD is making available to those evacuated.  Additionally, they will make small safe deposit boxes available to evacuees for no charge for 3 months.

8:00 PM    1. The northward progress of the fire along 550, as well as points west, slowed considerably today. This gave crews time to create more defensive lines around the Purgatory area.

                   2. If you're in town and drove up to Hermosa today, you again saw a great deal of smoke as well as areas of flame. Much of this was planned, as crews are once again performing backburns in and around residential areas north of Falls Creek. Despite how it looks, officials at the information told us again that the fire is, for the most part, acting in a predictable fashion.

                   3. Highway 550 will re-open tomorrow from Silverton down to around Cascade Village. Evacuation orders in San Juan County will also be lifted tomorrow. However, 550 remains closed in the Tamarron area, and we have not been given any idea of when it would re-open. However, the fire along the Tamarron corridor remained pretty quiet today.

                   4. Officials closed the San Juan National Forest in its entirety today.

View from the Lion's Den next to Hillcrest

View from the Incident Command Center in Hermosa

Wednesday, June 13th

3:45 PM   For those who haven't checked their e-mail in the last 20 minutes:

As of an hour and a half ago (2 PM Wednesday) the mandatory evacuation at Tamarron has been lifted, and we are able to return. SEVERAL IMPORTANT NOTES!!!

  1. If you plan to come back today, you must be in the escort line by 6 PM. The highway will close then and not open until 8 AM tomorrow. So don’t go into town for dinner and expect to get back.

  2. You MUST have a RapidTag to get through the roadblock and onto the property. There is a table set up in front of PJ’s Market which will be issuing tags from 9-5 each day. You MUST have a photo ID. If you are not a resident, you MUST have some sort of proof of ownership at Tamarron. I am assuming that an electric or gas bill will do, but your best bet is to bring a deed or some other more official document. You will NOT be allowed on property without a RapidTag.

  3. We are currently under a pre-evacuation notice, and so things could change at any time. If you are coming back to the property, make sure you are prepared to evacuate again on short notice.

  4. We had a power outage around noon today, but power was restored around 2:35. You will need to re-set clocks, etc. in your unit.

  5. We are currently trying to get all staff back on property as quickly as possible. Some had to evacuate a fair distance and may not be back for a day or two. Please bear with us as the front desk may be manned by some of us who are unfamiliar with its intricacies.

  6. Your Onity keys should work, but we’re getting a few reports of problems. Please try your key first, and if it doesn’t work, come to the front desk.

  7. It’s going to take a while to get everything back up and running. If you don’t live here, or don’t have an urgent need to be on property, it would be very helpful if you would wait until the weekend before showing up.


I apologize for not posting on the website this morning. The internet went out where we were staying around 7:00 this morning, and this is the first I’ve been able to get on the computer.

Thursday, June 14th

A few notes and observations:

  1. We remain under a pre-evacuation notice, which means that you need to be ready to evacuate on short notice. Keep a suitcase or carry-on bag packed with at least several days’ worth of clothes and other essentials.

  2. Highway 550 was originally scheduled to be open from 8 AM until 8 PM today. However, we just received word that it will close at 6 PM this evening. That just shows how this situation changes quickly. Be prepared for road closures with little or no advance notice.

  3. Once again, NO ONE will be allowed past the roadblock and onto the property without a RapidTag. To get a RapidTag you must present a photo ID and proof of residence. If you’re thinking of having friends or family members use your unit, they will NOT be given a RapidTag. To get details, call 970-385-8700.

  4. Once the highway is open for general use and the RapidTag requirement is lifted, understand that there is still quite a bit of work to do on the property. If you plan to have guests stay in your unit (rental or otherwise), we will not be able to provide housekeeping or regular maintenance service if they encounter a problem.

  5. We had lost TV, phone, and internet service yesterday and this morning. However, it appears as though those have been restored as of 11:30 this morning. You may have to re-program your TV channels and re-boot your modem.

  6. We will be working to clean the front decks of ash and pollen. Back decks in the outlying areas will be the owner’s responsibility.

  7. The window washing program, which was supposed to take place this month, is postponed indefinitely. You will be notified when that is rescheduled.

  8. Mail delivery has resumed to Tamarron as of 1:00 this afternoon. There are a number of packages in the maintenance office and at the front desk available for pickup.

  9. If you are particularly sensitive to smoke, you may not want to be here for a while. It was pretty smoky last night, although it cleared out by morning. The usual chain of events is that the smoke increases later in the morning, and depending on the winds and the state of the fire, it can become quite smoky in the afternoon.

  10. Please read Joe Carey’s attached memo regarding potential insurance claims due to the fire.

  11. Folks have asked what the Hermosa Cliffs look like across the highway. I’ve posted two photos below taken this morning to give an idea. Obviously many trees are burned; others which still show signs of life will die soon. As time goes on, a number of them will fall, and erosion will carry them along with other debris to the bottom of the slope. In other words, it’s going to look worse before it looks better. The good news, however, is that we will have a front row seat to see how nature heals and rejuvenates itself. Make no mistake, it’s going to take quite a while, but it promises to be a fascinating show to watch.

  12. And along those lines, when I opened the curtains and looked off my back deck last night, there was a deer browsing in the gambel oak behind my unit. This morning there was a group of wild turkeys foraging along the third fairway of the golf course. There are little vignettes of normalcy amid the chaos.

Friday, June 15th

        Highway 550 opened from Durango to Tamarron today. The roadblock is just 100 yards north of the entrance, so motorists driving up from town no longer need a RapidTag pass to get to Tamarron. However, coming from the north, there is still a six-mile stretch (approximately) which is only open from 8 AM to 8 PM to escorted traffic.

        For those with rental units, or if you are a long-term renter at Tamarron, you may be interested in an article appearing in today's Durango Herald. Click on the link below.

Saturday, June 16th

Sunday, June 17th

1. Highway 550 fully opened without an escort as of 8:00 this morning. There is no longer a need for the RapidTag to access any points along 550. As of noon today, Hermosa residents were able to return to their homes and businesses.

2. As of this morning, the size of the fire stood at 34,161 acres, and is 30% contained.

3. Between yesterday and today, we have received around 1" of rain, thanks to tropical storm Bud. The moisture, along with decreased temperatures and increased humidity, lessened the fire activity. However, the cloud cover and muddy road conditions have made transporting firefighting crews to certain areas problematic.

4. Glacier Cub remains closed, and plans to open on Saturday, June 23rd. Click on this link for details.

5. Joe Carey had sent me a memo regarding potential insurance claims a few days ago,

but as we were getting back home to Tamarron, I forgot to post it. Click on this link to read.

Monday, June 18th

The map to the right shows the current status of the various evacuation zones established by La Plata County officials. As of today, the only area still under mandatory evacuation is in the Falls Creek area. 

I found this photo on the NBC News website today. Sandy Elliot and Marlene Gephart making the best of a bad situation by playing golf at Dalton Ranch.

Eric Tibbetts had this poster made up today, and it is now hanging at the

Incident Command Center at the Animas Valley Elementary School.

Tuesday, June 19th

A few notes:

        1. The fire size remains at 34,161 acres, but now with 35% containment.

        2. As of last evening, there were still no structures lost to the fire. This is a remarkable achievement, and a testament to the skill and courage of the firefighting teams.

        3. The Yellow Carrot Bistro is planning to open this Friday, June 22nd. Check back here for updates.

        4. Glacier Club will re-open on Saturday, June 23rd. This includes the Valley Clubhouse and the Mineshaft Bar and Grille.

We strongly urge all owners and residents to sign up with the La Plata County CodeRED alert system. This ensures that you will receive emergency messages for the Tamarron area directly to your phone and/or e-mail.

Click here to fill out your CodeRED form.

Wednesday, June 20th

To the right you'll see a fire progression map, showing the growth of the fire from the earliest days in green, to the most recent in red. The resolution is not the best, as this map was pulled off the InciWeb web page. If you can read it, one thing to note is that in the last several days, the growth of the fire has been limited to only 16 acres. As the weather is drying out and warming up, we can't expect that to continue. However, the second thing to note is that the growth of the fire to the north along Highway 550 has been very slow, and this is definitely good news.

The National Forest Service plans to reopen the San Juan National Forest tomorrow. Click on this link for details.

Thursday, June 21st

This is a much better fire progression map than yesterday's. Again, note the slow growth in the overall size of the fire, and the relative inactivity along the northeast sector. However, read the official update from this morning; tomorrow promises to be a difficult day and could see a resurgence of fire activity in some areas. 

The Yellow Carrot Bistro will re-open tomorrow for dinner at 5:00 PM. Come on by and share your stories.

Friday, June 22nd

10:45 AM    From the Incident Command Center:

                 June 22, 2018 Brief Update

                 416 Fire Wildfire
                 Our morning update will be out later this morning. The 416 Fire is currently 34,224 acres and is 37%                         contained. At 6 a.m. this morning the National Incident Management Organization (NIMO) from                               Portland took command of the fire. We would like to wish the Rocky Mountain Incident Management                       team safe travels home, they enjoyed a lot of support from the area community!

Saturday, June 23rd

Sunday, June 24th

Monday, June 25th

This is a compilation of all of the fire maps in chronological order. It is pretty much the same as the scroll posted on the June 8th entry, but more complete. It also saves having to scroll way up this page to view the maps. All future maps will be added to this scroll.

This is a compilation of all of the fire progression maps in chronological order, beginning on June 13th. All future fire progression maps will be added to this scroll.

Tuesday, June 26th

          A number of Tamarron owners have asked about the smoke situation on property, and if they should make the trip here. There is no hard and fast answer to that question, especially since everyone's situation (health-wise) is going to be different. Here's the best answer I can give:

         There is very little, if any, smoke on-property in the mornings, although there can be quite a bit of smoke in town and points south in the morning, depending on how the fire has behaved through the night. That said, you will usually get a campfire smell through much of the day, whether there is smoke present or not. That's to be expected since the area directly across the highway is pretty charred. If the wind picks up during the day, you can see some hot spots flare up on the cliff faces, and this can cause some smoke on-property. However, it is not the kind of smoke that we experienced during the height of the fire, and it is, for the most part, temporary. If the wind comes from the west or southwest, we can experience moderate amounts of smoke in the afternoon at Tamarron.

         Please read the smoke advisories above, especially if you are particularly sensitive to smoke or have respiratory issues. 

Wednesday, June 27th

Size of fire: 35,196 acres

Percent contained: 37%

Thursday, June 28th

Size of fire: 37,488 acres

Percent contained: 37%

Friday, June 29th

Those who are on-property or in town have noticed quite an increase in the amount of smoke in the air the last couple of days, especially this morning. This is due to both back-burning operations and growth of the fire to the north and west. According to this morning's update (link to the left), the fire grew by 4,129 acres yesterday, and that type of growth is going to produce a considerable amount of smoke. Allisa Oliger at the accountant's office reported a great deal of smoke in town this morning. How that will affect Tamarron will depend largely on the winds as the day goes on. 

This was posted on the Incident Management website at 10:15 this morning.

Size of fire: 41,617 acres

Percent contained: 37%

This image is from a CDOT webcam near the intersection of 550 and Animas View Drive,

 taken around 8:45 this morning.

For a live view of downtown Durango, click here.

Saturday, June 30th

Size of fire: 47,031 acres

Percent contained: 37%

Sunday, July 1st

Size of fire: 49,301 acres

Percent contained: 37%

Monday, July 2nd

Size of fire: 51,068 acres

Percent contained: 37%

Purgatory Resort, near the 416 Fire, will be opening for summer activities beginning Monday, July 02, 2018. 
The public is reminded that the 416 Fire is still withing close proximity of the resort but currently poses no threat to the guests. Mountain guests may encounter firecrews and fire traffic along Highway 550 and near the area as they enhance and improve firelines south of the resort. For your safety, please drive safely near Purgatory, become familiar with local fire area closures and restrictions, and follow the established Purgatory safety guidelines when recreating in the area. 

In addition, drones are prohibited at Purgatory Resort, in the area and anywhere near wildfires. It is illegal and can be deadly if flown near wildfires. Drones interfere with wildland fire air traffic, such as air tankers, helicopters, and other firefighting aircraft that are necessary to suppress wildland fires.

From the La Plata County website:

All remaining pre-evacuation notices were lifted Monday. This affects residences and businesses in Falls Creek Ranch and High Meadow subdivisions, as well as those in the following areas:

  • The west side of County Road 203 from Trimble Lane south to its intersection with Highway 550

  • The 1000 block of County Road 204 at Sailing Hawks, northwest to the Colorado Trail access.

  • County Road 205 north from its intersection with County Road 204 to the Falls Creek Ranch Subdivision entrance.

Tuesday, July 3rd

Size of fire: 52,778 acres

Percent contained: 37%

Wednesday, July 4th

Size of fire: 53,260 acres

Percent contained: 37%

Thursday, July 5th

Size of fire: 54,128 acres

Percent contained: 45%

It looks like the Incident Command Center will now be publishing the infrared maps on a daily basis, so I've deleted the single infrared map from yesterday's post, and started a scroll of all infrared maps here. These begin on Sunday, July 1st, and will be updated as they become available.

Friday, July 6th

Size of fire: 54,129 acres

Percent contained: 45%

Saturday, July 7th

Size of fire: 54,129 acres

Percent contained: 45%

Announcement from the National Incident Management Organization:

NIMO Team to transition to Local Type 3 Team

       The National Incident Management Organization team (NIMO) that has been managing the #416 Fire since June 22nd, will be transitioning the fire back to the San Juan National Forest on Tuesday, July 10th. The last day for posting this Facebook site will be Monday, July 9th. Please "like" the San Juan National Forest Facebook page in anticipation of this transition at

       Information about the 416 Fire (if there is any), as well as information on any new fires, will be posted on the San Juan Facebook page. The 416 Fire Information phone numbers 970-403-5326 (public) and 844-672-5100 (media) will not be available after Monday, July 9th. For information on the potential flooding or the Burned Area Emergency Response team's report and conclusions, please contact the La Plata County. You can also like and follow their Facebook page at

Sunday, July 8th

There was no Official Evening Update posted by the NIMO team today.

Size of fire: 54,129 acres

Percent contained: 50%

Monday, July 9th

Size of fire: 54,129 acres

Percent contained: 50%

Please note that this is the final update by the NIMO team for the 416 Fire.

For future information about the 416 Fire please contact the San Juan National Forest.

Message from NIMO:


416 Fire Wildfire News – 17 hrs. ago

416 Fire

Published by Kris Eriksen

          To everyone in the communities around the 416 Fire, we extend our gratitude and thanks for your kindness, your acceptance of the work we had to do, your tolerance of the smoke it generated and your hospitality. Everyone has been warm and gracious to our firefighters and to the NIMO team during our time here and it was greatly appreciated.

          But now we have to go home and rest up for the next community in need, so this is our last post as we close up the Fire Information shop. Our phone numbers stopped working at 8 pm tonight since they took our phones!! Our internet will be down soon so we will not be updating Facebook or Inciweb. We will be in charge of the fire until Tuesday at noon which is when the Incident Command Post at the school will be mostly shutdown as well.

          If you see smoke on the 416 fire on a hot day, that's perfectly normal! Its a big fire and it'll take a lot of rain or snow to put it out completely. But for now, you have rain and by the end of the week, you will have a LOT of it. Please be careful if you live at the outflow of Dyke Creek, Tripp Creek or in the Falls Creek area. The severity of the burn means there could be severe flooding. Please pay attention to your local Emergency Managers and Sheriff.

          If you have questions about the 416 Fire or any other fire on the San Juan National Forest, please call the San Juan Public Affairs Officer, Gretchen Fitzgerald at 970-422-2671.

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