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416 FIRE UPDATE - Sunday 6/10/18

Effected Area Doubles Overnight


View of smoke plumes from 416 Fire from Aztec 2 at 2:30 pm Sunday, June 10, 2018


by J.R. Sykes, TALON

June 10, 2018 Aztec, NM: Primarily due to the combination of extremely dry conditions and overnight wind, the 416 fire has grown to over 17,000 acres between Saturday evening and Sunday morning. The affected area has approximately doubled in size overnight according to La PLata Search and Rescue. More than 600 new evacuations have been ordered this weekend. Hot and windy weather is expected to continue driving fire growth in the near term.

Visiting our neighbors to the north in Durango this morning there is much need for beds, food, clothing, water, and shelter for displaced persons, livestock and pets.

A Community Foundation has been set up to collect monetary donations for citizens in need. They can be reached at 970-375-5807. The Durango Food Bank is also collecting and distributing food resources and donations. The Food bank is in need of volunteers to help in the effort. Contact the Durango Food Bank to help out at (970) 375-2672.

An evacuation center and shelter is open 24 hours a day at Escalante Middle School, 141 Baker Lane in Durango. Sheltering is available in the school and evacuees may camp outside as well. A second evacuation check-in site is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at the Silverton Town Hall, 1360 Greene Street in Silverton. Those affected by evacuations must check in at an evacuation site to receive resident credentials. Evacuees who have received residential credentials can visit the Durango Food Bank, 194 Bodo Dr., Suite C, (970) 375-2672, for food and supplies.

Joanne Spina, County Manager has proclaimed a state of local disaster in the unincorporated areas of San Juan County, Colorado. Stage 2 Fire restrictions are in place. Restriction covers Burn barrels, agricultural burning, campfires, outdoor cooking, smoking, welding, grinding, oil and gas cutting and welding, chainsaws, fireworks and explosives, and flaring for oil and gas production. More detail is available at La Plata County website and at http://www.laplatasar.org.

County officials indicate that 550, and other highways are intermittently closed due to fire operations, and conditions may change rapidly. Eliminate unnecessary travel, and plan required travel carefully. Travel with emergency supplies if travel is required.

Locally, vigilance is a top priority. Late this week, a bear was reported in downtown Aztec near Aztec Restaurant. It is common sense that displaced wildlife will likely make thier way down valley and could land in our area. Keep garbage, livestock and pet food sources secured, and keep watch on your livestock, pets, and children.

416 FIRE UPDATED 6.8.18-PHOTO-Cheryl Arellano- TALON READER

Health concerns for local residents include respiratory issues extending from the Durango area South into Aztec, Flora Vista and San Juan County as the smoke from the fire continues to pour down valley with wind and temperature shifts. Stay indoors, avoid physical activities, and keep windows closed if at all possible to help minimize the effect of smoke particles and gases. Health issues are expected to disproportionately effect the infirm, the very young and very old. Common face masks may reduce particulates but will not eliminate harmful gases.

TALON has established a food and supplies collection point at TALON offices, 408 S. Park, in Aztec. Items collected will be delivered to the location of most urgent need in upcoming days. Items of particular need are NON-PERISHABLE breakfast and other food items, spare clothing, and diapers.

To assist in the effort and get the word out, TALON office hours are extended to seven days during the crisis.


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