The Goblin Fire in the San Juan National Forest in the Animas Canyon north of Durango is now estimated at 525 acres. Firefighters have been able to keep the fire away from the river and railroad tracks, and train operations are on schedule. The wildfire is burning on steep, inaccessible slopes two miles south of Needleton in a southwesterly direction in the Weminuche Wilderness. It is being managed under a containment strategy within predetermined boundaries through burn-out operations and building fire line, where feasible and safe for firefighters. No structures are threatened at this time. The fire is believed to have been started by the Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge Train last weekend. The weather forecast for Friday calls for rain and snow.
Firefighters report the low-intensity surface fire is burning dead needles on the rocky slope, with some Gambel oak and ground juniper torching in pockets. Conifer trees are not catching fire, but dead fuels on the ground are burning to white ash.
The Goblin Fire is being managed under a containment strategy to keep the fire within predetermined boundaries, while mitigating risk to firefighters. Containment is being attained through burn-out operations and building fire line, where feasible and safe.
No structures are currently threatened; however, there are two cabins and two outbuildings on a mining claim about ¾ of a mile downriver.
The fire is believed to have been started by the Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge Train last weekend.
Photo Courtesy of Hon Schlapfer, San Juan National Forest Columbine Ranger District Firefighter