Lightning storm looms as 416 wildfire grows to 27,420 acres
The Denver Post
With fire conditions already at historically dangerous levels in southwest Colorado, firefighters are nervously watching a forecast that calls for an approaching lightning storm that could spark new fires and bring strong winds that could push the 416 fire into neighborhoods north of Durango.
“It’s not good news,” said Shawn Dawden, spokesman for the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team.
A red flag watch is in place as a storm approaches the southwest mountains. The storm is expected to include dangerous cloud-to-mountain lightning strikes and winds that could reach 40 mph, Dawden said.
Over the last 24 hours, the voracious 416 wildfire consumed another 4,042 acres of mostly forest lands west of U.S. Highway 550, Dawden said Wednesday morning. The fire is 15 percent contained.
“I’m happy to say that we have not had any houses burned or people hurt,” Dawden said.
The ski racer turned hotelier who was close to President Ford embodied the soul of Vail for nearly 60 years.