Lightning Starts Five Fires In Moffat County

Lightning strikes from a storm started five fires within Dinosaur National Monument according yesterday. All five fires are located on the Colorado side of the Monument.  Three of the five fires have been successfully controlled. The Echo Fire was located near the Echo Park Overlook on the Harpers Corner Road. The Pool Fire was between Pool Creek and Trail Draw and the Limestone Fire was near the Iron Springs Bench area.  The other two fires, Wild and Hacking, are located on Wild Mountain within the monument boundaries. The two fires together cover approximately 150 acres. Located in a remote area, neither fire poses any threat to property outside the monument boundaries or any monument facilities. Visitors are advised to avoid the Wild Mountain area of the monument both for their safety and to not interfere with fire operations. None of the fires are located near the Dinosaur Quarry and visitor services or facilities have not been affected by fire operations.

Whittle The Wood Weekend in Craig

The annual “Whittle the Wood Rendezvous” kicks off tonight at Loudy Simpson Park in Craig.  Carvers have been creating their sculptures since Wednesday, and most will be nearly completed by the time live music starts tonight.  The concert, featuring  “Whitewater Ramble”, starts at 6 tonight.  Tomorrow morning starts with a 5K Fun Walk/Run sponsored by the Friends of Moffat County Education.  Registration begins at 7:15.  Food and craft vendors will be in the park all day tomorrow.  There’s a Quick Carve Competition at 1.  The live music starts at 3 with the Michael D. Band.  Winning carvers will be announced at 5, and Cracker will perform at 5:30.  The Bear River Young Life and Colorado Cruisers Car Show runs from 10 to 3 in downtown Craig, and there will be shuttles to and from Loudy Simpson Park throughout the day.  For more information follow this link.

Woodchoppers Jamboree and Rodeo In Encampment

The chips will fly this weekend during the 53rd annual “Woodchoppers Jamboree and Rodeo” in Encampment, Wyoming.  Loggers from all over the country will compete for the title of “Rocky Mountain Champion Lumberjack”.  Using power saws, axes and hand saws, competitors cut down trees, chop logs, and saw wood blocks in half, racing the clock for the fastest time.  The weekend begins tonight with a melodrama at 7.   Other activities include a rodeo, parade, barbecue and live music.  You’ll find a complete schedule for the Woodchoppers Jamboree here.

Steamboat Mustang Roundup Underway

The 25th annual Mustang Roundup got underway in Steamboat yesterday with a driving tour of the area.  The roundup continues today with an autocross at the Meadow’s Parking Lot and a welcome party and social for registered Ford Mustang owners.  Tomorrow over 400 cars are expected for the show-and-shine, which will be held from 10 to 3 on Lincoln Avenue.  For information and a full schedule of events click on this link.

Logging Notice For Routt County

Travelers around Steamboat Lake should be aware that logging operations are underway in the area near Forest Road 42 and that haul truck traffic is to be expected.  The Larson II Timber Sale and Fuel Reduction Project west of Steamboat Lake is active and logging trucks are hauling to Montrose. Up to eight loads per day will be traveling County Road 62 to Highway 129 and then south.  The project is on the Hahns Peak-Bears Ears Ranger District of the Routt National Forest. Forest visitors should expect to encounter log trucks traveling anywhere along the route detailed above. Recreationists are also reminded to be aware of and avoid heavy equipment operating in the area. Do not enter areas which are posted closed, as they are closed for public safety.  Visitors to the Rabbit Ears Pass area should also be aware that the last mile of Forest Road 315 will be temporarily closed starting this week and then should re-open within two weeks. The closure, for roadside hazard tree logging operations, will not affect the Dumont Recreation Area but may affect parking near the Rabbit Ears trailhead.

Fire danger on the rise in northwest Colorado

With warm temperatures and windy conditions across northwest Colorado vegetation is drying out rapidly and fire danger is on the upswing. Caution with any outdoor fire use is necessary as fire ignition in fine vegetative fuels such as grass and shrubs will spread quickly. Always check weather reports for current weather conditions before you strike a match to start an outdoor fire. Do not burn or use spark inducing equipment on windy days.

Fire Danger:
Rio Blanco and Moffat Counties is Very High.
Routt, Jackson and Grand Counties is High

Warnings and Advisories:
Red Flag Warning for low humidity, high winds and dry fuels are in effect today until 8 p.m. in Rio Blanco and Moffat Counties. A High Wind Advisory is in effect today until 8 p.m. in Routt, Jackson and Grand Counties. All outdoor burning should be curtailed in these counties until the Warning and Advisory have been lifted.

Your local, state and federal agencies and fire protection districts urge you to be fire safe and thank you for your diligence in contacting your local sheriff’s office to notify them of plans to burn outdoors.  Monitor all fires and have someone present until the fires are cold and no longer smoldering to reduce the opportunity for the fire or embers to re-kindle the flames.

Two Rabies-Positive Horses Confirmed in Colorado

Two recently tested positive for rabies; the horses were on separate premises and their cases are unrelated.  Both animals were in Weld County.  So far this year, three horses have been euthanized after showing severe clinical signs and subsequently tested positive for rabies.  The first case was confirmed in Logan County in April.  The Colorado Department of Agriculture is encouraging livestock and pet owners to discuss the need for rabies vaccination with their local veterinarian and to monitor their animals for behavioral changes.  “Animal owners need to primarily look for any dramatic nervous system changes such as muscle tremors, weakness, lameness, stumbling, or paralysis.  Those are some of the hallmark signs that the animal may be suffering from rabies,” said State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr.   Additional examples of unusual behavior include: wild mammals that show no fear of people and pets; nocturnal animals that are active in daylight; and bats found on the ground, in swimming pools or that have been caught by a pet.  Rabid carnivores, such as skunks, foxes, bobcats, coyotes, dogs and cats, may become aggressive and may attempt to bite people, pets and livestock.  Livestock and pet owners are also encouraged to discuss vaccination with their veterinarian for animals that could be exposed to wildlife that carry and could transmit the rabies virus to dogs, cats, horses, small ruminants, llamas, alpacas, and petting zoo animals.  Rabies is a viral disease infecting the brain and central nervous system. The clinical appearance of rabies typically falls into two types:  “aggressive” and “dumb.”  Aggressive rabies symptoms include combativeness and violent behavior and sensitivity to touch and other kinds of stimulation.  There is also a “dumb” form of the disease in which the animal is lethargic, weak in one or more limbs, and unable to raise its head or make sounds because its throat and neck muscles are paralyzed.  Rabies can be passed from animals to humans.  Rabies is spread primarily through the bite of rabid animals, resulting in the spread of the disease through their infected saliva. Rabies also can be spread when saliva from an infected animal gets into open wounds, cuts or enters through membranes of the eyes, nose or mouth.  No cure exists for rabies once symptoms appear although there is a vaccine to prevent the infection.

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