Favorable winds early Saturday helped firefighters battling the 358 Fire make significant progress.
As of 6:45 p.m., the fire was 80 percent contained, Incident Commander Richard Gustafson said in a news release from La Plata County.
Evacuation orders for five homes and pre-evacuation notices for two subdivisions were still in effect as of Saturday evening.
A federal Type III firefighting team took control of the fire Saturday morning because of the complexity of the fire, extreme drought conditions and expected red-flag conditions, according to the news release.
Saturday evening, the fire remained at 51 acres, said La Plata County spokeswoman Megan Graham.
Bruce Evans, chief of Upper Pine Fire District, said crews were on the fire line before 7 a.m. Saturday. Eighty people from various crews are on the ground to fight the fire, while two helicopters and a 12-man smoke jumper crew were assisting from the air. County Road 245 remains closed in both directions for firefighting operations.
On Sunday, firefighters will continue to work to increase the containment line and create a barrier, lessening the risk of the fire escaping, the news release said. Air support will be available if needed.
The fire was reported around 3:45 p.m. Friday afternoon 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 in the area. The shooter was not using any special ammunition considered fire prone, Evans said.
The fire burned about 25 acres Friday night.
Residences on pre-evacuation notice are homes on County Road 240 between Helen’s store and County Road 502, including Tween Lakes and Enchanted Forest subdivisions.
Five homes located west of County Road 501 and between county roads 502 and 240 (Florida Road) remain evacuated.
La Plata County Sheriff deputies went door-to-door to inform residents they were under a pre-evacuation order Friday evening. Crews are anticipating the fire might move toward Enchanted Forest based on the wind.
A community call center has been set up for information about the fire. Call 385-8700.
New Mexico fireThe Arena Fire, five miles south of the New Mexico/Colorado border, near Highway 511, has stopped progressing, according to fire reports at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. The fire is an estimated 128 acres. Currently, there are 15 people that have been evacuated as a precaution, according to the San Juan County Fire Chief.