Evacuations ordered during the East Canyon Fire were lifted Thursday in Montezuma and La Plata counties.
Most Montezuma County residents evacuated because of the 2,700-acre wildfire can return to their homes.
The evacuation order has been lifted for homeowners on Roads 46 and 46.1 in the Elk Creek and Elk Springs subdivisions, said Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin.
The neighborhood will stay in a per-evacuation status and residents are advised to be ready to leave again if necessary.
However, homes on nearby Road G.3 remain under an evacuation order because of their proximity to the fire, and firefighter activity.
Nowlin said a strong control line along the western edge of the fire made it safe for the other residents to return. The fire is burning to the southeast of the subdivision.
“It has been opened up; fire lines have been secured,” Nowlin said.
Only residents are being allowed in, and security staff at the subdivision gate is checking people in, he said.
Twenty-three homes in the Elk Springs and Elk Stream subdivisions and 15 homes along Cherry Creek Road were evacuated Monday as the East Canyon fire grew.
Also, all La Plata County residences that were under evacuation orders as a result of the East Canyon Fire will now shift to pre-evacuation status, according to the La Plata County Facebook page.
This includes homes in the Cherry Creek area along County Road 105, and from Mancos Hill east to the Target Tree Campground. Residents can return home, but should remain prepared to leave with little notice should significant fire activity resume, officials said.
Pre-evacuation orders for both sides of U.S. Highway 160 from Target Tree Campground to mile marker 66 – about 3 miles east of the Highway 160/County Road 105 intersection – remain in place.
County Road 105, or Cherry Creek Road, is open only to residents and firefighting traffic.