News, August 13th

RED CANYON FIRE GROWING, MORE RESOURCES EN ROUTE

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Sheriff’s officials say a wildfire burning near Glenwood Springs has prompted evacuations. Garfield County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Walter Stowe says the fire had been burning on an estimated 200 acres when it made a run to the north and east Tuesday. That prompted evacuations east of the fire and north to Interstate 70. The number of evacuees wasn’t immediately known.
Stowe says about 60 firefighters are battling the Red Canyon Fire with help from three single-engine air tankers and a heavy air tanker. The fire was reported Monday and sent thick smoke into the Glenwood Springs in the evening after winds picked up. It’s burning in steep terrain in an area full of juniper and pinyon pine.

NEW APPROACH TO OIL AND GAS DRILLING PENALTIES

DENVER (AP) – Colorado regulators are letting more oil and gas companies that break rules do public service projects instead of imposing fines. The shift is part of an effort by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to help communities harmed by the infractions.  The commission has signed off on 16 consent deals so far this year, compared with nine for all of last year.   One such deal involved a 84,000 gallon spill of toxic fluids in farmland north of Windsor. Rather than pay a $35,000 fine, PDC Energy agreed in May to train emergency responders in how to deal with oil spills. Windsor Severance Fire Rescue battalion chief Todd Voss said the training was “well-received.”

HICKENLOOPER MAKES REELECTION BID OFFICIAL

DENVER (AP) – Colorado’s governor is following through on promises to seek another term. Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper filed paperwork Tuesday to run for governor.
The Democrat was elected in 2010 and has said many times he would run for a second term.  At least three Republicans have said they’ll try to challenge Hickenlooper. Secretary of State Scott Gessler, state Sen. Greg Brophy and former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo are all interested in unseating Hickenlooper.  No Democrats are expected to challenge Hickenlooper next year.

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