The remnants of Hurricane Bud slowed the growth of the 416 Fire in Durango and brought rain across the state.
The EPA chose 26 mining sites for interim work to reduce human and environmental risks while a long-term solution is studied.
River guides, pot shops, art galleries, musicians, farmer's markets and even the famous narrow gauge railroad are feeling the pinch.
National forests and parks in Arizona and New Mexico have already been shut down as precautions.
Over 2,800 square miles of public land in southwestern Colorado will be closed to campers, hikers and bikers because of the fire danger.
Fire managers say they expect the fire to reach the evacuees' homes within 12 to 36 hours.