US 550/416 Fire Update ― US 550 Southern Closure Point Moves North

June 6, 2018 - Southwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 5 - “416 Fire” still burning on the west side of the highway


The Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team, managing the firefighting efforts of the 416 Fire burning north of Durango, is reporting increased fire activity on both the north and south sides. The increased fire activity has resulted in more visible smoke today. Firefighters continue to work in these areas to slow the progress of the fire. The fire is still limited to the west side of U.S. Highway (US) 550.

The road closure point on US 550 at the southern end of the restricted area has moved about two miles north to the northern intersection of La Plata County Road (CR) 250, approximately mile point (MP) 37.2. The relocation of this manned barricade will allow for better access for firefighting resources as well as better public access of the lower CR 250. The north end closure point remains at Electra Lake at approximately MP 43.5.


It is anticipated the highway will be temporarily opened tomorrow, Wednesday, June 6 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Motorists are advised that if fire activity increases, US 550 could close again at any time.

Area residents and travelers will be approached by CDOT or law enforcement personal at the road block for instructions on how to proceed through the restricted area. Please be patient and pay close attention.” said CDOT Maintenance supervisor Billy McDermott. “We also want motorists to be aware that it is critical to follow the lead pilot vehicle, stay in your lane and do not pass other vehicles. The far-west lane is being kept clear for use by firefighting crews and equipment. Firefighting efforts may need to be mobilized quickly and at a moment’s notice. It is crucial we keep their lane clear!”   

Travelers are reminded:

  • When US 550 is temporarily opened, travel is limited to through traffic only.

  • Access will be limited to one-lane alternating traffic.

  • Follow the law enforcement escort vehicle and remain in the east lane. Do not pass other vehicles.

  • Access to homes/cabins for medications or emergency essentials only. Inform road block personnel.

  • All evacuation and pre-evacuation orders remain in place.

  • No access available to recreation at lakes, streams or trails in the closure area. No, boating, fishing, hiking.

  • When the closure is implemented, motorists should allow for ample time when departing Silverton in order to make it through the evening road closure.

  • When the closure in implemented, travelers may want to consider the westerly alternate route through Colorado Highway 145, Lizard Head Pass. (map attached)

Named by local authorities as the “416 Fire,” the blaze was reported Friday morning (June 1) on the west side of US 550, about 10 miles north of Durango. As of this Tuesday morning, the fire was measured at more than 2,900 acres and is 10% contained.