UPDATE: 7:30 p.m. June 1:
Update on wildfire:
Red Cross team coming from Grand Junction to set up an emergency shelter at Silverton School Gym, capable of serving 70 to 100 people.
The evacuation center is expected to be operation at about 9 p.m.
Railroad officials say 470 passengers are stranded in Silverton. Buses are enroute and expected to be here at 9 p.m.
Jim Harper president of American Heritage Railways Hotels, Inc., said it’s possible U.S. 550 could be open to bring the passengers back to Durango tonight.
Harper also said that “at this point, there will be no train for the next two or three days.”
The Colorado Department of Transportation has closed US Highway 550 north of Durango due to a wildfire, named by local authorities as the “416 Fire.” The highway closure is in place from mile points (MP) 34-48. Travelers in the area are being diverted onto La Plata County Road 250.
Named by local authorities as the “416 Fire,” the blaze was reported this morning at approximately 10 a.m. on the west side of US 550, about 10 miles north of Durango. As of noon, the fire was said to be about 100 acres and growing rapidly toward the northwest. Local and U.S. Forest Service resources area on scene fighting the fire.
CDOT Maintenance Superintendent Greg Stacy advised, “Area residents and travelers should remain alert to emergency announcements. The current weather conditions and increasing high winds will certainly affect the fires behavior and path.”
La Plata County officials announced pre-evacuation of the Iron Gate subdivision, and a pre-evacuation notice was issued for the east side of U.S. Highway 550 between Baker’s Bridge and Electra Lake.