Firefighters have gotten portions of the massive 416 Fire under control, enough so to allow Purgatory Resort to open again for summer activities.
The fire, which started near June 1 about 13 miles north of Durango, has burned 49,000 acres north of U.S. 550. Fire officials said Sunday (July 1) that a fire line on the northern edge of the blaze has held, allowing Purgatory to reopen.
That means lift-served mountain biking – on the front side only – and scenic chairlift rides on the mountain. Down at the base area, Purgatory will crank up its summer zipline, alpine slide, bungee jump, climbing wall and other activities. And July 4 plans will go ahead as scheduled.
"With the change in weather conditions, the northern fire spread has also slowed its advance to the north, reducing the probability of impacting Purgatory Resort and associated recreational activities," said fire officials.
Firefighter presence will continue to increase at Purgatory Resort over the next few days as fire managers take advantage of the improving fire weather pattern. Guests can expect to see fire crews and fire equipment working near Purgatory Resort as they improve and enhance existing fireline near the resort.
If the wildfire flares up in the area, fire officials say they are ready to re-close the resort to protect structures, infrastructure and guests.
The 461 Fire is one of several wildfires raging in the tinder-dry forests of Colorado and the Southwest. No other ski and snowboard areas have been threatened or closed, but travelers should be advised that road closures continue on main arteries in and out of the mountains.