Wildfire breaks out west of downtown Durango; thick smoke visible from the city – The Durango Herald

Firefighters assess situation, ask residents to stop calling

A wildfire started shortly before 5 p.m. Tuesday west of the Durango city limits. Firefighters were assessing the situation and developing a plan of attack. (Courtesy of Joel Priest)

Courtesy of Joel Priest

Firefighters respond to a rapidly growing, approximately 10-acre wildfire west of downtown Durango.

The blaze was reported shortly before 5 p.m. Tuesday and was visible from the Rockridge and Perins Peak State Nature Preserve. A column of dark smoke was very visible from downtown Durango.

Air assets were being diverted from the Plumtaw Fire north of Pagosa Springs to fight the blaze west of Durango, said Durango Fire Protection District Chief Hal Doughty.

“Crews are still trying to get to it, but it’s obviously getting bigger,” Doughty said around 5:20 p.m. “They got their tech platform and all of Plumtaw Fire’s air assets headed this way.”

Firefighters were trying to assess the blaze and said there was no need for residents to report the column of smoke as firefighters are aware of the situation.

Crews and a helicopter were on their way to spot the fire.

“Right now we’re getting a ton of calls, so we’re busy trying to do that,” said Durango Fire Protection District Fire Marshal Karola Hanks.

“We have teams trying to pinpoint exactly where he is and what he is on. We are still trying to analyze exactly where it is to determine what we need,” she said.

David H. Henry