More than a month since the closure of the San Juan National Forest, fire officials reopened some major trails and roads in the area that went untouched by the 416 and Burro fires.
Most notably, hikers will be able to access The Colorado Trail. Other trails open to the public include the Ryman Trail, Salt Creek Trail and Sharktooth Trail to Sharktooth Peak. Fishing along the shore of the Dolores River is also open.
The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad will resume full service Thursday after it suspended its operations June 1, The Durango Herald reported.
General manager John Harper says 150 employees were furloughed because of the closure, which he estimated caused an economic loss of about $33 million to the area.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. Some in the community blamed the coal-fired train, which regularly spits out embers and other flammable particulates that are usually put out by a trailing water tender.
The announcements comes two days after the National Incident Management Organization team assigned to the 416 fire closed its command post at Animas Valley Elementary School.
The school had served as the command post for the NIMO team and the Rocky Mountain Type 1 Incident Management team since June 9.
Officials from the Forest Service will have access to firefighting resources, though they do not anticipate their need, The Durango Herald reported.
“The fire’s pretty much smoldering away at this point,” said Gretchen Fitzgerald, a spokeswoman for the San Juan National Forest. “There’s no active burning.”
The 416 fire, which sparked June 1, was last reported at 54,129 acres and 50 percent containment. Though one of the largest wildfires in Colorado history, no structures were lost and no injuries or fatalities were reported.
The nearby Burro fire was detected June 8 just west of the 416 fire. It was last reported at 4,593 acres and 50 percent containment.
The Gazette’s Haley Candelario contributed to this report.
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