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Durango & Silverton Railroad Resumes Trips As Wildfire Settles Down

DURANGO, Colo. (CBS4) - Five weeks after closing due to the 416 Fire, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad has resumed its daily trips. The wildfire is still burning but is no longer considered a threat.

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Train
(credit: Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Train)

On Thursday morning passengers took off from Durango in the historic coal-fired steam trains for the first time since June 5. Some waved as they embarked on the scenic trip to Silverton in a video posted on the railroad's Facebook page.

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Train
(credit: Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Train)

The 137-year-old tourist railroad operation said last month that it was temporarily shutting down because of the 416 Fire, the drought and the weather conditions.

The 416 Fire ignited 10 miles north of Durango on June 1 and has burned more than 35,000 acres. It forced thousands of evacuations but no structures were lost and no one was seriously hurt. Hundreds of fire personnel spent weeks fighting the blaze amid low humidity and strong winds until the remnants of Hurricane Bud helped dampen the fire. The fire also forced the San Juan National Forest to shut down for several weeks.

On Wednesday the La Plata County Board of Commissioners approved downgrading their fire restrictions.

On Thursday several trails near the fire were back open, including the stretch of the Colorado Trail that's in the national forest.

So far there's no official word on what started the 416 Fire. It is 50 percent contained.

Wildfire Resources

- Visit's Colorado Wildfire section.

Wildfire Photo Galleries

- See images from the most destructive wildfires (Black Forest, Waldo Canyon, High Park and Fourmile), the deadliest (Storm King) and largest wildfire (Hayman) in Colorado history.

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