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KSJD Local News Spot - Wildfires Break Out In San Juan National Forest

WillowCreekFire.jpeg
US Forest Service
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The Willow Fire as seen from Benchmark Lookout Tower on Friday soon after it broke out. Now the fire has burned about thirty acres.

Two wildfires broke out this weekend and continue to burn in the San Juan National Forest.

One, called the Willow Fire, has burned about thirty acres in Montezuma and Dolores Counties since it broke out on Friday.

No structures are being threatened at this time, however the fire tripled in size over the course of Friday night and Saturday,

Firefighting resources from the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management are working to get it under control.

That includes a team of approximately seventy people, but firefighters are having trouble actually reaching the fire.

That’s because it’s at the bottom of Willow Draw, which is remote and surrounded by steep terrain.

The other fire burning nearby is called The Barn Roof Fire.

It has burned about eight acres, since it broke out late Friday in the Perins Peak State Wildlife Area, which is a few miles northwest of Durango.

Aircraft are being used when possible on both fires, although visibility is poor due to high amounts of smoke in the air.

That smoke is not not coming from local fires, though.

Even with the Willow and Barn Roof Fires burning in Southwest Colorado, the majority of the smoke visible throughout the region is coming from large wildfires burning in the Northwestern US.

Updates on local fires can be found on the Facebook pages for the San Juan National Forest and the Durango Interagency Fire Dispatch.

Lucas is the News Director and host of NPR's Morning Edition for KSJD Community Radio. His work focuses on serving the public of the Four Corners with responsible, factual reporting.