NORTHWEST COLORADO NEWS FOR TUESDAY, JULY 2ND

Motorcycle/SUV Accident In Steamboat Claims One Life

An unidentified man from Germany died in an accident on West Lincoln Avenue in Steamboat earlier today.  The victim was one of a group of motorcyclists from Germany that were touring the United States.  Another member of the group was also involved in the accident, but was not thought to be seriously injured.  Physical evidence indicated that the accident occurred when an SUV crossed the center line of the road and  struck the two cyclists.   The driver of the SUV, whose identity has not been released, indicated that a medical condition may have contributed to loss of control of the vehicle.  Although a portion of Lincoln Avenue had been closed, the road in now open to traffic.

Hayden Police Chief Put On Paid Leave

Hayden Police Chief Gordon Booco remains on paid administrative leave for what Hayden Town Manager David Torgler calls a personnel issue.  Torgler said he was not releasing any additional information about why Booco was relieved of his duties on June 24th, and called Booco’s leave “indefinite”.   Pictured: Gordon Booco

 

 

Routt County Enacts Stage One Fire Restrictions

The Routt County Board of County Commissioners today voted unanimously to
enact Stage One Fire Restrictions for Routt County.

Fire danger has increased below 9,000 feet where we have critical fuel conditions in Routt County. Fire restrictions are considered only when very high or extreme fire danger is predicted to persist. This determination is based upon current conditions, long-term weather forecasts, and upon the heavy, dry fuel loading which creates the potential for uncontrollable fires.

Wildfires can affect entire communities by destroying homes and natural habitat
and by killing wildlife. People must take all necessary safety precautions in
wildlands and forests. According to Routt County Emergency Manager Bob Struble, “we put these restrictions in place to reduce the likelihood of human-caused fires.” The restrictions will remain in effect until officials determine that conditions have changed sufficiently to reduce the risk of a human-caused wildfire. Rescinding the restrictions will be considered when the critical elements diminish.

The fire restrictions will apply to all private and state owned lands outside municipal boundaries. Exemptions to this order: (a) in unincorporated private and state lands within fire protection district may be granted only by the fire protection district fire chief; or (b) in unincorporated private and state lands outside of a fire protection district by the Routt County Emergency Manager after consultation with the Routt County Sheriff, and only if the proposed action is deemed by the fire protection district chief or, if appropriate Emergency Manager, in consultation with the Sheriff to be safe and the attendant fire danger can be satisfactorily mitigated.

STAGE ONE RESTRICTIONS:

The following acts are prohibited on all private and state owned lands outside of
municipal boundaries. This does not affect federal lands within Routt County.

  1. Building, maintaining, attending or using any fire to burn trash, debris, fence rows, irrigation ditches or vegetation, any campfire, warming fire, charcoal grill, except in designated campgrounds, picnic areas or developed recreational sites.
  2. Smoking; except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed
    recreational site, or while stopped in an area of at least (3) feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
  3. Operating a chainsaw without a USDA or SAE approved spark arresting device (muffler) properly installed and in effective working order, and a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher of not less than eight (8) ounce capacity by weight, and one (1) round pointed shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches. The extinguisher will be with the chainsaw operator. The shovel may be kept with the fueling supplies but readily available for quick use.
  4. Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame; except within an area that is barren or cleared of all flammable material at least 10 feet on all sides from the equipment.

5. Using explosives requiring fuses or blasting caps.

Exemptions from Stage One Restrictions:

  1. Persons with a valid written permit which specifically authorizes the
    prohibited act: (a) from the fire protection district chief if subject land is within a fire protection district; (b) or Routt County Emergency Manager after consultation with the Routt County Sheriff if subject land is not within a fire protection district.
  2. Any federal, state or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an actual duty.
    1. Any fires contained within stoves, fireplaces within buildings, charcoal grill fires, recreational fires at private residences with valid permit from district chief, and permanent fire pits or fire grates in developed picnic grounds and camp grounds.
    2. Burning of irrigation ditches located within and completely surrounded by irrigated farm lands where such burning is necessary for crop survival with proper permit from: (a) fire protection district chief if subject land is within  fire protection district; (b) or Routt County Emergency Manager after consultation with the Routt County Sheriff if subject land is not within a fire protection district.
    3. Hot air balloon activities and the use of UL approved liquid-fueled or gas fueled “CampFire in aCan.”   Campfires or bonfires required in religious ceremonies where a specific written permit has been granted in advance by: (a) the fire protection district chief if subject land is within a fire protection district; or (b) the Routt County Emergency Manager after consultation with the Routt County Sheriff if subject land is not within a fire protection district.

Stage One Fire Restrictions In Steamboat

The City of Steamboat Springs implemented Stage One Fire Restrictions today.  Under the restrictions certain activities are prohibited, however, the public can still use charcoal fires for cooking (BBQ) and may have recreational fires at private residences with a valid permit from the Steamboat Springs Fire Department and recreational/camp fires are allowed in permanent fire pits or fire grates in a developed picnic ground or campground.  Legal fireworks that do not leave the ground or produce a report may be used by private citizens as long as they are used in a safe area, away from combustible/flammable materials.  Please review the Stage One Fire Restrictions for permitted and prohibited activities.

STAGE ONE RESTRICTIONS:

 The following acts are prohibited on all lands within the municipal boundaries of the City of Steamboat Springs. 

  1. Building, maintaining, attending or using any fire to burn trash, debris, fence rows, irrigation ditches or vegetation, any campfire, warming fire, charcoal grill, except in designated campgrounds, picnic areas or developed recreational sites. 
  1. Smoking; except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreational site, or while stopped in an area of at least (3) feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material. 
  1. Operating a chainsaw without a USDA or SAE approved spark arresting device (muffler) properly installed and in effective working order, and a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher of not less than eight (8) ounce capacity by weight, and one (1) round pointed shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches. The extinguisher will be with the chainsaw operator. The shovel may be kept with the fueling supplies but readily available for quick use. 
  1. Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame; except within an area that is barren or cleared of all flammable material at least 10 feet on all sides from the equipment. 
  1. Using explosives requiring fuses or blasting caps.  

Exemptions from Stage 1 Restrictions: 

  1. Persons with a valid written permit which specifically authorizes the prohibited act from the City of Steamboat Springs Fire Chief. 
  1. Any federal, state or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an actual duty. 
  1. Any fires contained within stoves, fireplaces within buildings, charcoal grill fires, recreational fires at private residences with valid permit, and permanent fire pits or fire grates in developed picnic grounds and camp grounds. 
  1. Burning of irrigation ditches located within and completely surrounded by irrigated farm lands where such burning is necessary for crop survival with proper permit from: (a) fire protection district chief if subject land is within a fire protection district; (b) or Routt County Emergency Manager after consultation with the Routt County Sheriff. if subject land is not within a fire protection district 
  1. Hot air balloon activities and the use of UL approved liquid-fueled or gas fueled “Camp Fire In A Can” 
  1. Campfires or bonfires required in religious ceremonies were a specific written permit has been granted in advance by the City of Steamboat Springs Fire Chief.

Moffat County Enacts Burning Restrictions

The Office of the Moffat County Sheriff, in cooperation with state and federal agencies in a cooperative effort to prevent potential wildland fires, has placed restrictions on open burning within un-incorporated areas of Moffat County.  Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz requested Stage 1 restrictions on open burning from the Moffat County Commissioners on all un-incorporated private and state lands in Moffat County, effective today.  Due to the unseasonably warm and dry weather patterns the fire danger has been very high in our county.  The concerns are that any fires could jeopardize life and or property.

Stage I Restrictions: Prohibits the following activities:

1.         Open burning, excepting fires and campfires within permanently constructed fire grates in developed campgrounds and picnic grounds, charcoal grills and wood burning stoves at private residences in areas cleared of all flammable materials, and those other exceptions/exemptions as noted in Section 9.

2.         Using explosive material: (i.e.: fireworks, blasting caps or any incendiary device  which may result in the ignition of flammable material.)

3.         Welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with an open flame; except within an area that is barren or cleared of all flammable material at least 10 feet on all sides from the equipment and possess a chemical pressurized five pound fire extinguisher and one round pointed shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches.  The extinguisher and shovel may be kept with the welding supplies but must be readily available for quick use.

4.         Outdoor smoking except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.

5.         Operating or using any internal combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order.

The following shall not be in violation of Stage 1 Restrictions:

  1. Commercial or community fireworks displays properly permitted.
  2. Fires contained within liquid-fueled or gas-fueled stoves.
  3. Outdoor charcoal grills and wood-burning stoves during Stage 1 Restrictions, providing they are at private residences and in an area cleared of all flammable materials including dry vegetation.
  4. The burning of irrigation ditches in the designated areas is prohibited by this Order EXCEPT for ditches located within, and completely surrounded by, irrigated farmlands where such burning is necessary for crop survival. Prior to such excepted ditch burning, written permission must be obtained from the Sheriff by and through the Fire Management Officer.
  5. Persons with a permit or written authorization from the Sheriff by and through the Fire Management Officer specifically authorizing the otherwise prohibited act or omission.
  6. Any federal, state, or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force, in the performance of an official duty.
  7. Any further exemptions to either the meaning of terms or the enforcement of this Ordinance shall be granted only by the Sheriff, through the Fire Management Officer, or for exemptions upon or within state or federal lands located within Moffat County, by the administering state or federal agency, and only if the proposed action is deemed by the Moffat County Sheriff, through the Fire Management Officer, to be safe and mitigable.

FIRE RESTRICTIONS GO INTO EFFECT FOR LOCAL FORESTS

Stage 1 fire restrictions are now in effect on the Medicine Bow and Routt National Forests. The decision, which was made in coordination with multiple agencies and counties, was prompted by a combination of factors that include rapidly drying vegetation, ongoing drought conditions, growing fire danger, and unfavorable fire weather forecasts. Fire restrictions are needed to help protect public safety and natural resources. They primarily limit where and what types of fires are allowed. Violation of the regulations is punishable as a class B misdemeanor, by a fine of up to $5000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, 6 months in prison, or both. Anyone responsible for starting a wildland fire could also be held financially liable for fire suppression costs. A description of the restrictions can be found below.

1. Build or maintain a fire, or use charcoal, except within permanent fire pits (steel fire rings) or grates provided at Forest Service developed campgrounds or picnic areas. *Note: personal and/or homemade fire pits/rings are not allowed.

Other excepted devices include:

·         Portable stoves, lanterns and heating devices that use petroleum fuels such as pressurized liquid gas or propane that can be readily controlled by a valve.

·         Fully enclosed woodstoves with a ¼” spark arrester screen.

2. Use explosives. This includes all fireworks, which are always prohibited on National Forest lands, as well as exploding targets used for recreational shooting.

3.  Smoke cigarettes, pipes, cigars, etc; except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.

4.  Operate acetylene or other torch with open flame (includes welding), unless specifically authorized in writing by the Forest Service.

5.  Operate internal or external combustion engines (e.g. chainsaws, ATVs, dirtbikes, generators, etc) without a USDA or SAE approved spark arrester properly installed, maintained and in effective working order.

 

Deseret G & T Near Vernal – Clean Air Act violations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a Clean Air Act settlement with Utah-based Deseret Generation & Transmission Co-operative (Deseret) resolving alleged violations at the Bonanza Power Plant on the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation near Vernal, Utah. According to a complaint filed with the settlement,Deseret allegedly violated provisions of the New Source Performance Standards under the Clean Air Act by emitting excess particulate pollution at the Bonanza plant. 

The agreement requiresDeseretto pay $35,000 in penalties and implement new procedures for controlling particulate emissions during startup and shutdown of the coal-fired boiler at Bonanza. Deseretwill also finance a $260,000 vehicle replacement program to replace at least five fleet vehicles in the area to use natural gas.

“This settlement secures Deseret’s commitment to significantly reduce emissions of particulate pollution and visible emissions from the Bonanza plant during startup and shutdown events and improve visibility in the surrounding area,” said Mike Gaydosh, EPA’s enforcement director inDenver. “Additionally, the conversion of the company’s vehicles to natural gas will benefit local air quality by significantly reducing emissions of harmful nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and particulates.”

EPA alleges thatDeseret’s pollution control device was bypassed during startup and shutdown events resulting in excess particulate matter emissions.  As part of the settlement,Deserethas agreed to route emissions through the control device during startup and shutdown, resulting in significant emissions reductions.

DEMONSTRATORS SHOW NEW GUN LAWS UNENFORCEABLE

Demonstrators at the state capitol showed yesterday that Colorado’s new ban on high capacity magazines is unenforceable. The group set up shop at the state capitol, sold and exchanged gun magazines that held more than 15 rounds of ammunition. Several state troopers were on hand, but made no move to arrest the group. The demonstrators say that proves the law has no teeth, and that law enforcement won’t be able to enforce it. That’s the primary reason for the County Sheriff’s of Colorado’s lawsuit against the state. Supporters of the new law say the demonstration proves nothing, and maintain the law will prevent tragedies like Columbine and the Aurora shootings.

 

RULES FOR SALES OF RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA RELEASED

Rules for selling recreational marijuana in Colorado were released yesterday. As a part of those rules, no single package of an edible marijuana product can contain more than 100 milligrams of active THC, no matter how many servings it contains. Also, Colorado residents can buy up to an ounce of marijuana at a time. Out-of-state residents can buy up to a quarter-ounce. Labels on marijuana-laced snacks have to list their ingredients and carry warnings. Licensed growers can’t sell to consumers. Marijuana can’t be consumed at a cultivation site. Waste marijuana has to be “unusable and unrecognizable” when discarded. Testing facilities will have to destroy marijuana after it’s tested. Sheriffs, deputies, police officers and some other state officials can’t get a marijuana retail license. Licensed retailers have to have video surveillance systems and commercial-grade locks. And retailers and their employees must wear identification badges issued by the Colorado Department of Revenue. The sales of recreational marijuana won’t begin until January.

 

GESSLER OUTS 155 NON-CITIZEN VOTERS

Colorado Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler is alerting prosecutors of 155 suspected noncitizens who have cast ballots.  The announcement yesterday continues a contentious debate between the state’s election chief and voting rights groups and Democrats who question the validity of his findings.  Gessler’s office says the voters are among 4,201 people who received letters asking them to clarify their status since last summer. Gessler says the 155 have voted in one or more past elections, and did not reply to the letters.  Letters were sent to people who once showed proof of non-citizenship, such as a green card, when getting a driver’s license and then later appeared on voter rolls. Gessler is also using a federal immigration database, but critics say it’s not error-proof.

 

WALLER ANNOUNCES HE’LL RUN FOR STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Colorado House Republican Leader Mark Waller will try to replace term-limited state Attorney General John Suthers in a contest that includes a former Democratic prosecutor and Suthers’ chief deputy.  Waller made the announcement yesterday at the University of Denver. He joins a field that already includes former Adams County District Attorney Don Quick, a Democrat, and Republican Cynthia Coffman, Suthers’ deputy.  Waller formerly served as a Pueblo prosecutor before being elected to the Colorado Legislature in 2008.  He was his party’s leader this legislative session. The election is November 2014.

 

MARK UDALL’S BROTHER REPORTED MISSING

Randy Udall, the 61-year-old brother of Senator Mark Udall, has gone missing in Wyoming after setting off for a backpacking trip on the Wind River Mountains. The mountains are located about 80 miles southeast of Grand Teton National Park. Randy Udall, an avid backpacker, was hiking alone. He was supposed to exit last Wednesday but never checked in with his family. The Sublette County Sheriff’s Office is working with search and rescue officials to search a 225-square-mile area. Jim Mitchell, the Emergency Management Coordinator for Sublette County says there are currently 29 people from multiple agencies actively searching. Randy Udall, who lives in Carbondale, is familiar with the area. Search-and-rescue officials say he has hiked the Wind River Mountains many times over the past thirty years.

 

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