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San Juan National Forest to reopen after closure due to 416 Fire

The San Juan National Forest will reopen to the public Thursday after being closed for more than a week due to two wildfires and extremely dry conditions.
Credit: CDOT
The 416 Fire burns north of Durango on Friday, June 1, 2018. Photo from Colorado Department of Transportation.

DURANGO - The San Juan National Forest, which covers 1.8 million acres in the southwestern corner of Colorado, will reopen to the public Thursday afternoon, the U.S. Forest Service said on its social media pages.

It was closed last week due to extremely dry conditions and two wildfires burning in the area. Closures around active fire areas near the 416 and Burro fires will remain in place, and there are still Stage 2 Fire Restrictions.

Bureau of Land Management Lands around Durango will also re-open.

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In a release, the Forest Service said contributing factors to the forest re-opening were widespread precipitation over the weekend increasing fuel moisture, no new wildfire starts and moderate predicted fire weather behavior.

The following applies during Stage 2 Fire restrictions:

  • No open fires anywhere including campgrounds, picnic areas and wilderness areas
  • No camp stoves and lanterns unless they have an on/off switch, and use canister fuel (no white gas or kerosene)
  • No smoking except inside a building or vehicle
  • No discharge of firearms
  • No welding or torches (open flames)
  • Motorized vehicles must park in areas devoid of vegetation
  • Spark arrestors on generators, chainsaws and OHV’s
  • Specifics of what is prohibited or allowed vary depending on jurisdiction, therefore check with the appropriate managing agency.
  • Stage 2 fire restrictions will remain in place until further notice.

Violating Stage 2 fire restrictions is punishable as a Class B misdemeanor by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for a legal entity other than an individual, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.