Wildfire erupts west of Durango, burning 71 acres in the Perins Peak area


A wildfire is burning in the Perins Peak area just west of Durango.

The Perins Peak fire, burning near County Road 204 and the Rockridge neighborhood, is sending up a large column of smoke. The plume is visible throughout Durango, an area which is under a red flag fire warning on Tuesday.

A pre-evacuation notice is issued for County Road 206 to Colorado 160, and County Road 208 and the Rockridge and Dry Dock subdivisions.

The fire started at about 4:45 and it has burned about 71 acres, moving through heavy timber and oak brush, according to Durango Fire Rescue. The fire is burning on Bureau of Land Management lands.

Trail access has been closed to Overend Mountain Park, Twin Buttes, and Perins State Wildlife Area, according to fire officials.

Firefighters are on scene and responding agencies include the Durango Fire Protection District and the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. A Type 3 helicopter and four air tankers are being used to douse the fire.

All firefighting on Tuesday afternoon, because of the location of the fire, was carried out by air. Ground crews and engines are staging and ready, according to Durango Fire Rescue. Firefighters grounded the air flights at dusk.

The fire is not running toward the city, Durango Fire Rescue said at about 8:30 p.m.

Officials of Fort Lewis College have asked people to stay off of the campus, which is being used by firefighters for observation posts. The fire is not immediately threatening the campus.