DENVER, the United States, June 9 (Xinhua) -- The 416 Fire in southwestern Colorado has attracted national attention and concern, spreading more than 8,000 acres (32.4 square km) with little containment in the past few days.
Only 10 percent of the wildfire has been controlled since it began on June 1. It grew almost 50 percent in four days to 8,691 acres (35.2 square km) as of Saturday morning, according to InciWeb, the inter-agency fire command center in Idaho.
On Saturday, fire officials reported hopefully that "southwest winds were lighter than yesterday" and "a dense smoke filled the area in the morning, especially in the valleys."
A total of 683 firefighters are striving to put out the fire, with the assistance of a dozen aircraft.
The blaze began on June 1 just 12 miles (20.2 km) north of Durango, a small town of 16,782 in an isolated part of the western U.S. state, near the New Mexico border, that is surrounded by thousands of acres of national forest land.
Coincidentally, another wildfire broke out on Friday only 22 miles (37.1 km) away, also in southwestern Colorado, U.S. Forest Service officials reported.
As of Saturday the blaze had grown to 100 acres (0.4 square km) with "no structures threatened at this time," San Juan National Forest officials reported on Twitter.
"Weather will be a concern this weekend as critical fire weather conditions are expected," InciWeb reported Saturday in regard to both blazes.
No injuries or fatalities had been reported in the 416 Fire and the cause is under investigation.
Thus far, support has included 15 aircraft including three helicopters and three tankers, four bulldozers and 28 engine crews, and more support is expected.
"On Thursday evening, I looked in that direction and it looked like WWIII had broken out! Tonight, all looks calm from my vantage point," Richard Ruth posted on the Durango Herald website Saturday.
Ruth was one of many local residents who posted on the Herald's site, a paper founded in 1881, to commend the efforts of fire and rescue personnel.
"If, as reported, our firefighters have secured the Hermosa area from structure fires, this demonstrates extreme professionalism in firefighting," he wrote.
"These guys should be given medals for heroism like they give the guys in the military!" posted retiree Shirley Dills on Saturday.