Warm, dry and breezy conditions didn't make firefighting efforts any easier. Waves of fire moving up to 2 miles per hour have raced up to the sides of homes before firefighters managed to put them out.
The cause of the blaze, which is being called the 416 Fire, which started June 1 in the San Juan National Forest, has not been determined. They are being supported by several helicopters and one air tanker.
The west side of the 416 Fire is burning at over 8,000 feet in terrain that is hard for ground resources.
Wednesday morning, many homeowners got their first close-up look at the damage as crews still worked to put out hot spots. The goal of the closure is to protect natural resources and public safety due to the danger of wildland fire. This includes Woods Landing, New Jelm, and Jelm. There were pre-evacuation orders in other areas along Wyoming's border with Colorado as well.
The fire danger had already shut down national forests and parks in Arizona and New Mexico, the AP reported.
He said the early investigation has ruled out natural causes for the blaze that ignited near a creek that is frequently used as a walkway in a largely blue-collar neighborhood. The operational plan will be to continue to focus on public and firefighter safety, evacuations, assessments, and structure protection. The Rocky Mountain Region's Black Team will assume command of fire operations on Wednesday.
Evacuated residents of Rockwood, Tamarron and Glacier Club subdivisions are also being allowed to return home starting at 2 p.m. today. It has burned 100 acres in the Arapahoe and Roosevelt National Forest, officials said. The location is two miles north of the Wyoming/Colorado state line. Multiple communities and private property in-holdings are within a five mile radius of the fire.
West of Denver, near Ski Country, another 1,400 homes were evacuated.
Sweetie Marbury, the mayor of nearby Durango - about 10 miles from the fire - said there are plenty of things people can do in the area, including river rafting, cycling and fishing and learning about history at places like Mesa Verde and Chimney Rock National Monument.
The Incident Command Post has been established at the Harmony School, west of Laramie, on Highway 230. Stables for evacuated horses are being offered by Albany County Fairgrounds or Glen w-Stonehouse Stables, according to the Forest Service.
Assistant City Manager Amber Blake said another big reason the city is proposing to close its open space is because resources such as EMS personnel are tied up with the wildfires.
With the announcement, officials will close forest campgrounds, day use areas, roads, and trails.