All Crimes Enforcement Team executes arrests and search warrants.

As the result of a lengthy undercover drug investigation, at approximately 8 am today, members of the All Crimes Enforcement Team, the Craig Police Department, Moffat County Sheriff’s Office, 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office and the Joint Moffat/Craig Special Response Tactical Team executed two arrest warrants and search warrants on two different residences.  Arrested on charges of Unlawful Distribution of Controlled Substances (Methamphetamine) were Conny Mullis (46) and Maria Saenz, (32) both residing at 796 Barclay St. in Craig, where one of the search warrants was executed.   The second search warrant was executed at 974 Aiken St, Craig Co.  Contents of this warrant have been sealed by the Court.  Both searches were still being conducted at the time Wild West Radio News received this information.  Photo courtesy of the Craig Police Department.  Pictured officers taking one of the subjects into custody.  Click on the photo to enlarge.


The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for Northwest Colorado.  A Red Flag Warning means no controlled burning will be allowed.  The weather service says gusty winds and isolated showers and thunderstorms are expected over the course of the evening.  They say the potential for wildfires is high, and will likely remain that way through the rest of the week.  If you have questions regarding controlled burns, call your local county sheriff’s office.


Another round of lightning on Sunday produced eight wildland fires clustered in the Piceance Basin area about 25 west of Meeker. All were one tenth acre or less on Bureau of Land Management land and two remain uncontained.  A blaze one mile west of Wolf Creek and four and one half miles west of Dinosaur National Monument is one tenth acre and has not been declared contained.  Another wildland fire is two and one half miles east of Hayden in Routt County along the Yampa River bottom, a half mile from the barns at the Nature Conservancy’s Carpenter Ranch. It is estimated to be 3-5 acres and 20 per cent contained. It is burning in old cottonwood and sarvisberry brush.  No infrastructure or buildings are threatened. Smoke was visible from Highway 40. Bob Struble, Director of the Office of Emergency Management at Routt County reported that flames reached a height of four to six feet even though the brush and vegetation appear green. No date or time was given for full containment.  No structures have been damaged or destroyed and no injuries reported in any of Northwest Colorado’s fires.  Fire danger is very high in Moffat County and high in Rio Blanco, Routt, Jackson, and Grand Counties.



Residents near a 485-acre wildfire burning north of Rifle are back home.  Evacuation orders for the Ward Gulch Fire were lifted late Sunday after lower temperatures and a little moisture helped slow it down.  Fire spokesman Pat Thrasher said the fire was started Friday by a smoldering lightning strike three miles north of Rifle Gap Reservoir.  It also forced the evacuation of campers at Rifle Falls State Park, Rifle Mountain Park and the nearby White River National Forest.  The National Weather Service says gusty winds and very warm weather will increase the fire danger in parts of western Colorado by midweek.



The Colorado Department of Natural Resources is accepting applications for a new Wildfire Risk Reduction Grant Program. The program will provide $9.8 million in grants to reduce the risk of wildfire in areas where human development and forested lands overlap, areas often called the wildland-urban interface.  The program, created under Senate Bill 13-269, is focused on projects that reduce the risk for damage to property, infrastructure, and water supplies, and those that limit the likelihood of wildfires spreading into populated areas. Funds will be directed to non-federal lands within Colorado.  Eligible applicants include community groups, local governments, utilities, state agencies and non-profit groups. Applicants must contribute 100 percent matching funds, which can include in-kind resources, for a 50-50 grant-to-match ratio. Applicants must also identify plans to make use of the woody material resulting from the projects. Those plans can include using the materials for biomass energy and/or traditional forest products.  A more detailed overview of the grant program and its requirements and limitations, as well as the grant application itself, is available by clicking here.



Acting State Conservationist for Colorado Randy Randall recently announced additional funding for the agency’s National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI), an effort aimed at improving water quality in selected watersheds within the state. NRCS in Colorado will make $1.2 million in assistance available this year to help farmers, ranchers, and forestland owners install conservation practices that manage nutrients, pathogens, and sediments.  Eligible producers will receive technical as well as financial assistance for installing conservation systems that may include practices such as nutrient management, cover crops, conservation cropping systems, filter strips, terraces, and in some cases edge-of-field water quality monitoring.  All applications for funding consideration during this fiscal year must be received by July 19, 2013.  For more information about the program, click here.



A Rock Springs man died after he insisted on jumping off a cliff into the Flaming Gorge Reservoir.  Authorities identified the dead man as 24-year-old Michael Pond.  Sweetwater County Sheriff Rich Haskell and County Coroner Dale Majhanovich say Pond went to the Big Firehole area of Flaming Gorge on Saturday with four friends.  Pond told his friends that he wanted to jump off a cliff into the lake and they tried unsuccessfully to talk him out of it. The friends told officials that once Pond hit the water, he never came up.  Searchers recovered Pond’s body and estimated the height of the cliff where he jumped at just less than 175 feet. A 19-year-old man died in a similar fashion at the same spot in 1999.  Photo courtesy of the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office.  Photo depicts the cliff from which Michael Pond jumped on Saturday; two of the boats involved in the recovery operation can be made out near its base.  Click to enlarge.



The Moffat County Commissioners meet this morning.  After general discussion, the board plans to hear a request for a resolution to amend the building maintenance code. The Northwest Colorado Snowmobile Club will ask the commissioners to sign a letter of support for the purchase of a piece of land for storing trail grooming equipment.  The County’s lease agreement with the BLM for Airport Terminal building space will be reviewed, and there will be an update from Social Services.  The business portion of the meeting gets started at 9 this morning, in the commissioners’ meeting room of the Moffat County Courthouse.


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