Recent droughts and above-average temperatures have caused more than six wildfires to break out across the state of Colorado in recent weeks.
“A number of state agencies are working around the clock to contain the fires that have begun at the beginning of an especially hot and arid summer season in Colorado,” says Caitlin Johnson, a public relations strategist for the Colorado Tourism Office.
Despite the wildfires, most of Colorado’s 104,100 square miles remain unaffected by fire and are open for business, Johnson says. The state’s two main airports—Denver International Airport and Colorado Springs Airport—have experienced no flight cancellations or visibility issues.
Currently, the largest wildfire in the state is the 416 Fire in southwestern Colorado, which has already burned more than 25,900 acres near the New Mexico border since it began on June 1 and is only 15 percent contained, according to InciWeb.
Combined with the the 2,684 acres that the nearby Burro Fire has also burned, officials have closed all 1.8 million acres of the San Juan National Forest to visitors, restricting use of campgrounds, hiking trails, and all recreational activities until further notice.
“Under current conditions, one abandoned campfire or spark could cause a catastrophic wildfire, and we are not willing to take that chance with the natural and cultural resources under our protection and care or with human life and property,” Richard Bustamante, a San Juan National Forest forest fire staff officer, tells CNN.
However, both Dunton Hot Springs and Telluride, which are located in the area, are unaffected by the blaze and still welcoming guests. Since the closest fire is more than 31 miles south of Dunton Hot Springs, visibility at the restored ghost town resort remains clear, as shown on their live webcam.
Visitors should be aware that Telluride has implemented a Stage 2 fire restriction, which means that campfires, smoking outdoors, and fireworks are banned until further notice, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
The town of Durango, which is just 10 miles south of the 416 fire, is also under the same restrictions, but the majority of its businesses and attractions remain unaffected.
Farther north, the Buffalo Mountain Fire that broke out on Tuesday has already caused 1,400 homes to be evacuated in Summit County, Colorado, according to CNN. So far, no structures have been damaged, the local Summit Daily reports. Vail, which is located about 30 miles west of Summit County, has not been affected by the Buffalo Mountain Fire, with the exception of perhaps slightly more colorful sunsets in the evening. Otherwise, visibility remains clear in the resort town.