416 & BURRO fire

Communities in Southwest Colorado continue to be profoundly impacted by the 416 & Burro Fires. The two fires combined burned nearly 58,000 acres of public and private lands. Since the start of these two fires, San Juan National Forest enacted their first ever forest closure and La Plata County enacted closure of public lands around Durango; more than 2,000 citizens were evacuated from their homes and thousands of others were impacted by hazardous levels of smoke in the area. The economic impact of the fires remains staggering and for many homeowners, the greatest challenges lie ahead. Further, some of the area’s most prized natural resources have been impacted, namely the Hermosa Creek Watershed Special Management Area. 

In our role providing science and education to San Juan Mountain communities for the last 15 years, Mountain Studies Institute is supporting the community to take a broad look at both the short and long-term impacts and needs. 

To that end, we've gathered resources from partners and will continue to share updates.

Further, we have gathered community concerns to help inform post-burn research, response, and community support. We welcome your questions, concerns, stories and ideas about the role MSI should play in helping the community recover and thinking into the future about fire and our forests.

To view summary chart of soil burn severity or to view time progression click the icons in the top right corner. The soil burn severity data was provided by the 416 Fire BAER team.

To see the progression of the fires, select "Time Slider" in the top right corner. 


Since the 416 Fire broke out on June 1st approximately 10 miles north of Durango, the fire has grown to over 34,000 acres with more than 1,000 personnel responding. A Type I incident management team took over the response on Saturday, 06/08, but may transition back out soon due to growing levels of containment (35% as of June 19th). That same day, the Burro Fire was detected on the Dolores Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest (SJNF). As of June 19, the Burro Fire had burned more than 3,700 acres, and is being managed by at Type III Incident Team. 

Mountain Studies Institute feels for those impacted by the fire and is deeply grateful for the hard work of the firefighters. We applaud their skilled efforts and hope they stay safe. Further, we so appreciate the multitude of efforts at work to keep the community safe and informed.

Photo by: Priscilla Sherman

Photo by: Priscilla Sherman