Wildfires continue to burn across the country. Nearly a third of the 47 wildfires actively burning in the United States are burning in Colorado. That’s according to the U.S. Forest Service. Colorado is suffering one of the worst wildfire seasons in history. In Craig, the Craig Interagency Dispatch Center has responded to 67 wildfires, 28 smoke checks, and five false alarms, as of Tuesday afternoon. Six fires have been substantial in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties. And August is considered the peak of the western fire season.
A Hayden Man died in a rollover accident three miles east of Hayden Monday afternoon. The single vehicle rollover crash was along Highway 40, near mile marker 111, in Routt County. The driver of the car was 61-year-old Stephen Manzanares of Hayden. No other vehicles were involved. Colorado State Patrol wants to remind all drivers to always wear their seatbelts.
Fires continue to burn in Moffat County.
- The Divide Fire is 23 miles north of Craig. Nearly 20,000 acres have burned. About 70 firefighters are working the fire lines, and it was 40 percent contained on Sunday. Two structures have been destroyed.
- The Thornburg Fire is five miles west of Maybell. It has burned over 16-hundred (16,360) acres, and did not grow on Sunday. Two helicopters and 45 firefighters are working the fire, and it was about 50 percent contained on Sunday.
- More small fires started throughout the weekend because of lightning. The Fawn Fire is about 30 miles southwest of Meeker. 55 firefighters are there. The Ridge Fire is a 150-acre fire near Mile Marker 27 on Highway 13.
- Northwest Colorado is still under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions.
- A new fire has started as of last night in Wolcott, and it is affecting power. Residents in Edwards, Avon, Vail, Minturn, and Beaver Creek have been told to anticipate a prolonged power outage.
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.
Fireworks in Craig didn’t happen on the 4th of July. That’s because a fire started about 30 miles northwest of Craig. Craig Fire Rescue Captain Doug Willems spoke to KRAI right after the fireworks were cancelled.
Willems said Wednesday evening that the fire was, “burning very rapidly and vigorously.”
A Craig man died Monday evening, in a one-car accident north of Maybell. Colorado State Patrol reports 19-year-old Hunter Roberts of Craig, was the only person in the car. The accident happened on Highway 318, about 30 miles north of Maybell. Corporal Bagley with CSP said the vehicle Roberts was in lost control on a corner, and rolled two and 3/4s times. Roberts was ejected from the car. Bagley says the cause of the accident is excessive speed, however they are still investigating.
The 8th annual 4th of July Parade is tomorrow, along Victory Way. Lineup starts at 10 a.m., at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265. The best floats get prizes, and there is a community picnic after the parade.
Fireworks are still scheduled for tomorrow night at dusk. Craig Fire/Rescue will have a fireworks show at Moffat County High School, but it is still depending on the weather.
The Great Divide Fire is contained. It burned more than 5,000 acres. One house was destroyed but no one was hurt. The fire was about 32 miles northwest of Craig, near Moffat County Roads 7 and 5.
A wildfire burned about 15 acres south of Hayden late Friday. The Hayden Gulch Fire is mostly on Bureau of Land Management land. The fire has been burning in brush and grass.
The official word has not yet come down about fireworks in Craig on the 4th of July. They’ll happen if conditions allow. Here’s Craig Acting City Manager Bruce Nelson.
More fireworks have been canceled. This time in Frisco. The fire danger is just too high. Breckenridge and Steamboat also won’t have fireworks for the 4th. But Steamboat will have a laser light show on Howelsen Hill.
The fire danger is high. Moffat County Commissioners have put Stage 1 Fire Restrictions on open burning into effect as of today, in Moffat County. Stage 1 Fire Restrictions are also in effect in Routt County as of today, as well. Stage 2 fire restrictions have now gone into effect for unincorporated private and state lands in Garfield County.
Another wildfire is burning, this time in Grand County. It’s near the Sugarloaf Campground and Henderson Mill south of Kremmling. Summit County officials are ready, should the fire pass into Summit County. It’s called the Sugarloaf Fire, and it’s burning primarily beetle kill trees on Forest Service land. As many as 500 homes have been evacuated near the Grand Lake Golf Course, for the Grand Lake Fire which is also near Rocky Mountain National Park. Many of those homes are vacation homes.
A special mill levy is expected to be on the November ballot. It will ask voters to help fund the Museum of Northwest Colorado, Moffat County Libraries, and possibly Loudy-Simpson Park. The Moffat County Board of County Commissioners is expected to file a letter of intent for the initiative to appear on the ballot.
The construction project for the new medical office building for Memorial Regional Health is on schedule. One million dollars needs to be raised, and the hospital is closer to that goal, with well over $800,000. Jennifer Riley is the Vice President of Operations for Memorial Regional Health. She says the new building is very important to the community.
Riley says the new building should open in fall of 2019. Donations are still being accepted through the hospital’s foundation. Call 826-2424. Or visit www.MemorialRegionalHealth.com
The Bureau of Land Management is considering changes to oil and gas leasing. It is in a sage grouse habitat area. The amended plans would let oil and gas operators apply for exemptions so they could lease minerals in areas that are designated as priority grouse habitat. The change is estimated to add almost 225-thousand acres to leasing. There was a meeting this week in Craig. Now, the BLM is accepting public comment through the Colorado Bureau of Land Management website, until August 2.
A young Craig artist has won an award for her art. 14-year-old Winnie Li created digital art and she won the “One World, Many Voices” competition. It was held by the Colorado Department of Education’s Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education Academy. Winnie was born in New York City, but then her family moved back to China. They then moved to Craig in 2017 to open the Spicy Basil restaurant.
The warm weather continues in Northwest Colorado today, but it shouldn’t be as hot as it has been lately. Highs will be around 87 degrees with a few gusty winds in the afternoon. Saturday will cool off considerably with a high of 71 degrees, and maybe some rain in the afternoon and evening.
In softball, in the Craig Parks and Rec League, the A Kidz Dentist team won for the 13- to 18-year-old league. Western American Drilling won in the 8- to 12-year-old division.
In Craig Youth Baseball, the Hayden Outdoors Farm & Ranch Real Estate team of 8- to 10-year-olds won. In the 11- to 13-year-old division, it was Country Living Realty.
The Mighty Dogs Volleyball Camp is July 16 through 18 at the high school. It’s hosted by the Moffat County High School volleyball program.
Registration is open for the 32nd annual Silver Bullet Ladies Golf Classic. It’s July 14-15 at Yampa Valley Golf Course.
The Elkhead Reservoir Fishing Classic continues at Elkhead Reservoir until Sunday.
The primaries are over in the state, and several Moffat County candidates are in, because they ran unopposed. Here are some of the results, after 3,352 residents of the county voted.
Moffat County Republicans have chosen Donald Broom as their candidate for District 3 Moffat County Commissioner. No democrats ran, so Donald Broom will be the next county commissioner, unless there is a last-minute unaffiliated write-in candidate.
Tammy Raschke won for the Republicans for Moffat County Clerk and Recorder, and there were no democrats in the race, so she will likely keep that position as well.
Three people were arrested after being pulled over on Rabbit Ears Pass, and they now face felony drug distribution charges. An arrest affidavit states that an officer with the All Crimes Enforcement Team drug task force followed a suspected drug dealer from Craig to a high crime area in Denver, and then followed the car back to the Steamboat Springs area. The officer called Colorado State Patrol who pulled the car over for speeding and having an illegal window tint. Murray, the drug sniffing dog, detected drugs in the car. The affidavit states suspected methamphetamine and heroin was found, with a street value of around $18,000. Those arrested and being held are Derek Ralph Kettle of Craig, John Stanley Henderson of Denver, and Hailey Celeste Allen of Denver.
An historic red barn in North Routt County, south of Clark, burned down Monday. The barn on Circle Bar Ranch was off Routt County Road 129. Two fire crews responded to try to put the fire out but it burned too quickly. No one was in the barn, and no animals were hurt.