Buffalo Mountain Fire forces evacuations near Silverthorne

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The communities of Woods Landing, New Jelm, and Jelm are being evacuated by Albany County first responders.

The federal government spent a record $2.9 billion to suppress last year's fires, Forest Service officials said.

The Badger Creek Fire in southern Wyoming exploded in size.

Multiple wildfires are already burning in the area, including the 23,000-acre 416 Fire near Durango, Colorado, and the 41,000-acre Buzzard Fire in west-central New Mexico.

Evacuated residents in the area were allowed to go to their homes for a short time to gather what they need before leaving again, CBS Denver reported.

Firefighters battled to gain control over several large wildfires in Colorado on Tuesday, including two fires burning at opposite ends of the state that have prompted the evacuation of more than 3,500 homes and the closure of a national forest.

"There were big black rolling clouds coming off it and it had gotten to the edge of the forest, right next to the neighborhood", Silverthorne resident Jake Schulman told the Summit Daily. The incident managing team and the San Juan National Forest give input to the La Plata County Sheriff's Office on evacuation notices, which ultimately makes the final decision.

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"We were just happy to get back. We're definitely asking the firefighters to keep their eyes open and their heads up and pay attention to any changes in the weather".

The NWS posted red-flag warnings for extreme fire danger for large portions of the Four Corners region of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. Forest managers use several criteria to determine when to implement restrictions and closures, including fuel moistures, current and predicted weather, values at risk from wildfire, fire activity levels, and available firefighting resources.

A fire reported Tuesday in a part of Colorado known for its ski resorts has forced the evacuation of more than 1,300 homes.

Despite the scale of the 416, there still has been no reports of any deaths or injuries and no homes have burned down.

The fire burning 10 miles north of Durango had consumed 42 square miles as of Thursday morning and was 15 percent contained.

All 1.8 million acres of the San Juan National Forest in southwestern Colorado were due to be closed to visitors by Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said, citing the fire danger.

In southern Wyoming near the Colorado border, the so-called Badger Creek Fire in Medicine Bow National Forest grew as evacuation orders were expanded to almost 400 homes in Albany County, according to the online USA fire information service.