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Pre-evacuation order lifted for homes northeast of Durango

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Sunday, May 27, 2018 7:05 PM
A pre-evacuation order for homes along Florida Road between Helen's Store and County Road 502 has been lifted after progress overnight on the 358 Fire.
A pre-evacuation order for homes along Florida Road between Helen's Store and County Road 502 has been lifted after progress overnight on the 358 Fire.

A pre-evacuation order for homes along Florida Road (County Road 240) between Helen's Store and County Road 502 has been lifted after progress Saturday night and early Sunday morning on the 358 Fire.

Evacuated residents on the west side of County Road 501 between County Road 502 and Florida Road can return home. However, only residents and homeowners will be allowed in the fire area because firefighting activity will be conducted throughout Sunday.

The 358 Fire began Friday afternoon in the Texas Creek area. The fire remains at 51 acres and is 80 percent contained. Because of severe drought conditions and the complexity of the fire, a Type III Interagency Incident Management Team is managing the 358 Fire.

It was reported around 3:45 p.m. Friday on private property near the east entrance of Sunrise Lane and County Road 245, northeast of Durango. It was started by someone shooting a gun recreationally at a private gun range. The shooter was not using any special ammunition considered fire-prone.

At a Sunday morning briefing, Incident Commander Richard Gustafson decided to lift the pre-evacuation orders based on successful efforts to battle the blaze overnight.

Sunday's operations are to "seek and destroy," said Operations Chief Officer Joe Morris in a news release from La Plata County. On Sunday, firefighters will continue to work to increase the containment line and create a barrier, lessening the risk of the fire escaping,

Air resources are ready and available if needed to assist the 101 personnel working the fire Sunday, according to the news release.

Several agencies are cooperating in battling the fire, including San Juan National Forest, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and multiple local fire districts.

Good progress on the fire overnight came after a good day of battling the blaze Saturday.

Favorable winds early Saturday helped firefighters make significant progress. The fire was first listed at 80 percent contained at 6:45 p.m. Saturday.

parmijo@durangoherald.com

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