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Colorado wildfire forces national forest closure

by Leigh Jones
Posted 6/12/18, 09:20 am

Federal officials in Colorado closed the San Juan National Forest for the first time in its 113-year history on Tuesday as a wildfire raging nearby consumed 22,131 acres. This is the first time a national forest has closed in the state since 2002, but parks in Arizona and New Mexico have already closed this year. Drought conditions in the region helped fuel the 416 fire in the southwestern part of the state. Officials aren’t sure how it started. The fire has forced more than 2,000 residents to evacuate their homes, although no houses have burned. The blaze doubled in size on Sunday, spreading over 35 square miles. The Four Corners region, where Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado meet, is suffering some of the worst drought in the West, much of which has experienced some level of drought.

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Leigh Jones

Leigh lives in Houston with her husband and daughter. She is the news editor for The World and Everything in It and reports on education for WORLD Digital.

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  •  Mike and Elly's picture
    Mike and Elly
    Posted: Tue, 06/12/2018 09:44 am

    Hi, Leigh, Mike from Colorado here. There is a difference between a National Park and a National Forest. When I read the headline, I wondered which National Park had closed, then in the article it said a National Forest has closed. The National Forest closure was on the local news last night. Thank you.

  • Web Editor
    Posted: Tue, 06/12/2018 11:58 am

    Thank you for writing to point out the error. We have corrected it.

  • Fuzzyface
    Posted: Tue, 06/12/2018 10:13 am

    It's National Forests in Arizona too as far as I have heard.  I had to cancel my hike planned for late June to finish the Arizona Trail by doing the segment on the San Francisco peaks because that portion of the Coconino National Forest is closed even to hikers.