Wildfire Threatens Colorado Ski Resort

Firebrains | FireFire
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Smoke was seen coming from above Purgatory Ski Resort. Credit: Mario Salazar

A wildfire in Colorado is worryingly close to Purgatory Ski Resort just weeks before their scheduled opening day. Although close to structures, nothing is under immediate threat.

The Needles Fire, in the San Juan National Forest, is burning the trees above lifts #1 and #2 at the ski area.

The smoke of the was seen above Purgatory when it was first reported on Wednesday and is just under 12 miles ESE of Rico in Dolores County.

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Location of the Needles Fire

The fire is currently at around 24-acres as of the last update. The cause is currently unknown.

Today, resources will continue to construct fireline and secure the smaller spot fires with the support of helicopters. Resources on the scene include several engines, suppression modules, 2 helicopters, and an air attack.

There are no area or road closures in effect currently. However, due to fire operations, forest visitors should exercise extreme caution and avoid the area if possible. Smoke and aircraft operations will be visible from Hwy 550. Please do not stop to watch aircraft and firefighting activities as this poses a hazard for fellow travelers.

Purgatory Resort is scheduled to open on 21st November 2020.

Purgatory Resort is a ski resort located in the San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado, 25 miles north of the town of Durango. Established in 1965, Purgatory offers 99 trails, including 5 terrain parks, over 1,500 skiable acres, 88 trails, and 12 lifts, including one six-person and one high-speed quad lift. The average annual snowfall is 260 inches per year, and artificial snow is produced on approximately one-fifth of the mountain. The elevation at the summit is 10,822 feet (3,299 m), with a vertical drop of 2,029 feet (618 m).

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Purgatory Resort, CO

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