Lightning storm looms as 416 wildfire grows to 27,420 acres

No homes have burned, no firefighters have been injured

Kirk Mitchell
The Denver Post
In this Monday, June 11, 2018, photo, firefighters monitor flames behind a home during a burnout operation that was performed south of County Road 202 near Durango, Colo. The burnout is used to take away fuel from wildfires. Firefighters use the technique to burn in conditions so that they can control the fire and prevent the loss of homes.
Jerry McBride/The Durango Herald via AP

With fire conditions already at historically dangerous levels in southwest Colorado, firefighters are nervously watching a forecast that calls for an approaching lightning storm that could spark new fires and bring strong winds that could push the 416 fire into neighborhoods north of Durango.

“It’s not good news,” said Shawn Dawden, spokesman for the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team.

A red flag watch is in place as a storm approaches the southwest mountains. The storm is expected to include dangerous cloud-to-mountain lightning strikes and winds that could reach 40 mph, Dawden said.

Over the last 24 hours, the voracious 416 wildfire consumed another 4,042 acres of mostly forest lands west of U.S. Highway 550, Dawden said Wednesday morning. The fire is 15 percent contained.

“I’m happy to say that we have not had any houses burned or people hurt,” Dawden said.

Read the full story from The Denver Post.