The Denver Post

416 FIRE GROWS TO 32,959 ACRES

- — Kirk Mitchell, The Denver Post and The Associated Press

More and more firefighte­rs are battling the 416 fire north of Durango as it continues to scorch its way through the San Juan National Forest, authoritie­s say. The battalion-strength crew has grown to 1,137 firefighte­rs.

The wildfire has burned 32,959 acres about 13 miles north of Durango. The fire is now 18 percent contained, according to the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team.

At one point, 2,200 homes were evacuated. No structures have burned.

The good news is that a soaking rain storm was expected over the fire area Friday and Saturday, according to the National Weather Service. The bad news is that the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning and said flooding could hit areas where the fire burned away trees and bushes.

Residents were allowed to return to their homes Friday.

Drought conditions and the wildfire have closed the San Juan National Forest in southwest Colorado for the first time in its 113-year history.

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