A wildfire erupted Wednesday near the HD Mountains about 12 miles southeast of Bayfield.
The fire, dubbed the Sambrito II Fire, was about 50 acres in size as of 4:30 p.m. and had grown to more than 400 acres by 8 p.m. A smoke plume was visible from Elmores Corner and Bodo Industrial Park in Durango. Lightning in the area was believed to be the cause.
No structures were immediately threatened, but because of the fires size and rapid growth, officials had not ruled out evacuations. Its the second fire in the area this year.
The fire was reported at 2:01 p.m. on tribal lands west of Piedra Peak, near the La Plata-Archuleta county line east of Ignacio and five miles northwest of Arboles, according to the Durango Interagency Fire Dispatcher Center.
Federal officials requested a helicopter, a large air tanker and two single-engine air tankers to battle the blaze.
High winds, however, prevented the aircraft from operating until late afternoon, when a helicopter and tanker were able to make some drops, said Durango Interagency Fire Dispatch Center public information officer Pam Wilson.
Two 20-person crews and a helicopter have been ordered to fight the fire today, she said.
Officials hoped rain showers would slow the fires advance.
It sounds like the weather is going to be slowing it down, dispatch center assistant manager Justin Moore said.
Lightning started several smaller fires throughout the region Wednesday afternoon.
We had at least 15 fires today stretching from Pagosa Springs to Cortez, Wilson said. In general, fire activity is picking up throughout the region.
Four small fires were reported in the Bondad area, said Dave Imming, spokesman for Durango Fire & Rescue Authority.
The Los Pinos Fire Protection District responded to several lightning-caused fires, said Deputy Chief Tom Aurnhammer.
No structures were immediately threatened, he said.
Theres just a lot of lightning in the area right now that will keep us busy with single-tree fires, but our intent is to keep them in check and make sure they dont become a bigger problem, he said.