San Juan National Forest to close in Colorado because of fire danger

The Associated Press
A helicopter works the wildfire on the east side of Hermosa Cliffs near Hermosa, Colo., on June 9.
Jerry McBride/The Durango Herald via AP

DURANGO — Over 2,800 square miles of public land in southwestern Colorado will be closed to campers, hikers and bikers because of the fire danger.

Officials plan to bar most entry to the San Juan National Forest starting Tuesday to prevent the possibility of an abandoned campfire or another spark starting another catastrophic wildfire in exceptional drought conditions. Roads through the forest will remain open.

Residents of over 2,000 homes have been ordered to evacuate because of a fire that started in the forest north of Durango, which doubled in size to about 25 square miles over the weekend.

The closure will remain in place until enough moisture falls to improve conditions.

Last month, some forest land in Arizona was closed because of the fire danger.