Colorado national forest closes due to fire danger

June 12, 2018
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This June 9, 2018, satellite image provide by DigitalGlobe shows the 416 Fire, right, and the Burro Fire, left, northwest of Durango, Colo. (Satellite image ©2018 DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company via AP)

DURANGO, Colo. (AP) — Colorado’s San Juan National Forest is closed to the public to try to prevent another catastrophic wildfire in the extremely dry U.S. Southwest.

The closure started Tuesday for the over 2,800 square miles (7,252 square kilometers) forest.

Hundreds of miles of forest trails and thousands of miles of back roads are off limits to hikers, bikers, horseback riders and campers.

Some forest land in Arizona and New Mexico has also been closed because of the fire danger. It’s the first full closure of a Colorado national forest since 2002.

The move comes as the residents of over 2,000 homes have been forced to evacuate because of a fire that started in the forest that has burned about 31 square miles (about 80 square kilometers). Another fire nearby has burned about 4 square miles (10 square kilometers).

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