DENVER — Thursday, June 29, 2017 — Gov. John Hickenlooper has given a verbal declaration of disaster emergency to help efforts to fight the Lightner Creek Fire near Durango.

La Plata County officials have given the state control of the firefighting effort. The fire is burning north of Highway 160 in La Plata County. Currently 170 homes have been evacuated. The fire began when a home caught fire. The state’s multi-mission aircraft has been deployed to help assess the fire’s size which has grown to more than 250 acres.

The declaration includes authorization for the Colorado National Guard to provide support if requested.

For updates on the state-related fire operations, call Caley Fisher, Public Information Officer, Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control at 720-391-1565.