Thousands Evacuated As Wildfire Rages For 12 Days In Colorado

Entire San Juan National Forest To Be Closed To Public

Sara McLaughlin and Michael Kramer had to move their June 9 wedding to another location due to the fire, according to their wedding website.

The cause of the fire, which is burning hundreds of miles north of the massive 416 Fire in Colorado, was unknown as of Tuesday, the Wyoming Business Report stated.

The fire has only been 15% contained since it was first reported on June 1.

A fast-moving brush fire destroyed eight homes in the Utah tourist town of Moab, while more than 3,000 people in Colorado and Wyoming fled multiple wildfires scorching the drought-stricken U.S. West on Wednesday.

Officials said one small outbuilding was lost but no injuries have been reported.

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.

Rangers have closed the entire San Juan National Forest in southern Colorado and Santa Fe National Forest in New Mexico near Santa Fe, along with popular areas in the Tonto, Apache-Sitgreaves, Coconino and Kaibab national forests in Arizona.

Anyone caught violating the closure, SJNF said, could be punished with an individual fine of up to $5,000 or $10,000 for an organization, a six-month prison sentence, or both.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said the rapid response from emergency crews has helped prevent a repeat of devastating wildfires in 2012 and 2013.

"Our state agencies are here to support you".

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"It's going to come down to a point there, and that's what we're striving to achieve there, is to get that all nicely brought together", Knight said.

In all, more than 2,000 homes have been evacuated.

Across the state, Colorado's largest fire has burned about 43 square miles over almost two weeks.

Graham said earlier that 2,162 structures or homes have been evacuated since the beginning of the fire, and 500 residents are now on pre-evacuation.

The smoke from the wildfire has affected air quality, Graham said.

The 416 Fire wildfire in southwestern Colorado continued to grow after more than doubling in size over the weekend amid dry, gusty conditions.

If any exemptions are granted, those users would be required to take precautions, such as carrying water, shovels and fire extinguishers and possibly only allowed in during certain times of the day, she said. This year, almost 24,000 wildfires have burned more than 1.7 million acres across the country. 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 communities of Mountain Home, Wold Tract, and Wycolo are under evacuation orders from Albany County officials.

A fire in California that burned nearly 200 acres has been contained, officials said.

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