East Canyon Fire grows to 2,700 acres

The East Canyon Fire outside Durango has grown to more than 2,700 acres, and fire officials fear the flames could spread with gusty winds expected on Tuesday.

“There’s a high potential for large growth today,” Vicki Shaffer, a Montezuma County spokeswoman, said, citing sustained winds of 25 miles per hour, with gusts possible up to 40 mph.

The fire, west of Durango, is burning on Bureau of Land Management and private lands in Montezuma and La Plata counties. It forced evacuations for two subdivisions in the area and briefly closed U.S. 160 on Monday.

Red flag warnings have been issued for Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Rocky Mountain Incident Management Blue Team, an interagency group of fire and emergency personnel, will take over command of the fire Tuesday afternoon from the Durango Interagency Fire Dispatch, Shaffer said.

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