The Divide Fire northwest of Craig has now burned close to 12,000 acres, and another structure. And there is no containment estimate yet. About 50 firefighters are securing the firelines. Four single engine air tankers and a helicopter are working the fire, which is burning on private and Bureau of Land Management lands. Agencies responding include Moffat County Sheriff’s Office, Northwest Colorado Interagency Fire Unit, Craig Fire/Rescue, Moffat County Road and Bridge, and Yampa Valley Electric. The Divide Fire first started June 29, and it increased greatly on the 4th of July. The cause is under investigation.
More fire updates…
A small fire started alongside the railroad tracks near Mountain Meats in Craig Thursday night. The fire threatened several tanker trucks, but didn’t cause any damage. Craig Police, Colorado State Patrol, Moffat County Sheriff’s, and Memorial Regional Health Emergency Medical Services all responded.
The Lake Christine Fire has burned more than 5,000 acres in the far southwest corner of Eagle County, close to the borders of Pitkin and Garfield Counties. Firefighters are trying to keep the fire from crossing Highway 82.
- Three homes have now been destroyed near Basalt, and at least 500 homes are evacuated. Those evacuees are finding shelter at either Basalt High School or Roaring Fork High School.
- Garfield County has opened the Fairgrounds in Rifle for a rescue and shelter area for large animals, like livestock. Volunteers are needed, and the fairgrounds is asking for hay and grass to be donated. They also need 5-gallon buckets to provide water to the animals as they arrive.
- Some flights at the Aspen Airport have been cancelled because of the heavy smoke from the fire. Colorado State Patrol has asked drivers to stay away from the area.
- This fire near Basalt continues to grow, and is not contained at all. 200 firefighters are working the fire and 300 more could be active by the end of the day today.
- Two people have been accused of starting the fire because they were shooting pyrotechnic tracer rounds at a shooting range, even though that type of ammunition is banned right now because of the fire danger. 22-year-old Allison Marcus, and 23-year-old Richard Miller, both of El Jebel, have been charged with misdemeanor fourth-degree arson, although there may be more charges.
- Rain is expected in the Basalt area, but not until next week. And they will be monsoon rains, July 12-15.
A tattoo helped confirm that the body found along Soda Creek Wednesday is 38-year-old Matthew Shelters, who went missing in late April. County Coroner Rob Ryg says an autopsy doesn’t indicate any injury or foul play. Toxicology tests will be done, which could take three weeks. Shelters was found on private property, in an area known as the Atwood Ranch. The Routt County Sheriff’s Office is working with Steamboat Police to investigate the death.
The Moffat County School Board has approved the budget for the upcoming school year. Excess expenditures of $555,000 were approved from reserves to allow for improvements to the vocational agriculture building, and to fill the pool. That’s at Moffat County High School. The budget includes salary increases of 4.5 percent to certified staff baa=se salary, an increase of 79 cents per hour to classified staff base salaries and a 3 percent increase to administration base salaries. The complete budget can be seen at www.Moffatsd.org under the Financial Transparency tab. School meals for students will go up 25 cents per meal and there will be a $5 increase on fees for activities. The board has a retreat coming up Wednesday, July 18.
The weather in northwest Colorado today will be mostly sunny with a high of 94. Partly cloudy this afternoon with clear skies tonight. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. The weekend will be mostly sunny in the mid 90s.
The Craig Sea Sharks are in Montrose today through the weekend for the Montrose Marlins Summer Open. Open football practices start at 7 Monday morning at Moffat County High School. There is also open gym for volleyball at the high school Monday morning at 9.