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.


Carvers have a day under their belts, and have until Saturday afternoon to finish their projects for this weekend’s Whittle the Wood Rendezvous in Craig.  Carvers from across the country show up to compete in the event.  This year’s Rendezvous will again feature live music on Friday and Saturday nights.  Friday’s concert features White Water Ramble at 6.  Saturday’s music starts at 3 with the Michael D. Band.  Cracker performs at 5:30.  A Bear River Young Life and Colorado Cruisers Car Show will also be held in downtown Craig Saturday from 10 to 3.  There will be shuttles to and from Loudy Simpson Park.  You can find out more by clicking the Whittle The Wood Rendezvous tile on this page.



Permits for harvesting wild mushrooms are now available at all six Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests (MBR) ranger district offices. Both personal and commercial-use permits are required for mushroom collection on lands managed by the MBR.  Personal-use permits, which are free-of-charge, allow permitted individuals to collect up to one gallon per day, or up to five gallons per calendar year. One gallon of non-dried mushrooms equals approximately five pounds. These are available on both the Medicine Bow and Routt National Forests.  Commercial permits cost $20 each and allow permit holders to harvest up to 50 pounds (about 10 gallons) in one seven-day period. Individuals are allowed to purchase up to five commercial permits each calendar year. At this time, commercial permits are only available on the Medicine Bow National Forest.  To obtain a permit or more information about mushroom harvesting on the MBR, please contact your local ranger district.



Steamboat residents have likely noticed median work being done on Mount Werner Circle this week.  The work started Monday.  The city’s Redevelopment Authority has contracted with Native Excavating for the work.  The project consists of hard surfacing and landscaping existing medians around Mt. Werner Circle between Eagle Ridge Drive and just west of Burgess Creek Road.  Motorists can expect a one lane closure around Mount Werner Circle with all traffic between Eagle Ridge Drive and Mount Werner Road permitted only to travel in a counter-clockwise direction around the circle. Steamboat Grand guests and Ski Time Square and Burgess Creek Road destination trips will need to use the Apres Ski Way roundabout to access those areas from Mount Werner Road. However, the closure has been lifted for the weekend to accommodate the Mustang Rally event and visitors.



The nomination period for local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees begins on Monday.  To be eligible to serve on an FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in a program administered by FSA, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and reside in the local administrative area in which the person is a candidate.  Farmers and ranchers may nominate themselves or others, and organizations representing minorities and women also may nominate candidates.  Nomination forms for the 2013 election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA Service Center by close of business on Aug. 1, 2013. Elections will take place this fall.  The nomination form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available online.



Good news for rural telephone customers across Colorado. The Government Accountability Office-an independent agency of Congress that investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars-will study the impact of FCC changes to the Universal Service Fund (USF) and issue a report later this year.  The study comes after members of Congress and rural telecommunications associations, companies and customers raised concerns about the FCC’s ongoing efforts to remake-and possibly eliminate-the USF and intercarrier compensation (ICC) programs. FCC “reforms” to the USF and ICC programs, according to Colorado’s rural telecommunications providers, have created significant regulatory challenges and fostered new uncertainties that could negatively impact service and cost to rural communities.  The USF and ICC programs ensure that rural Colorado consumers can access high-quality, affordable services on advanced communications networks.



The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee yesterday passed the Strengthening America’s Schools Act.  The bill would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education (ESEA) Act and is intended to fix No Child Left Behind to help all children graduate college- and career-ready.  The bill’s passage out of the HELP Committee prepares it for consideration by the full Senate.


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