News, June 18th

WARD GULCH FIRE CLOSE TO FULL CONTAINMENT

Rifle—The Ward Gulch Fire north of Rifle Gap is now 85 percent contained. Over 200 firefighters made good progress on the 485 acre,
lightning-sparked wildfire. State Highway 325 was completely reopened late last night. In addition, Rifle Gap, Rifle Falls State Park and the fish hatchery are now open to the public. The only portion of the gap that is still closed is the swim beach on the west side.

GARFIELD COUNTY COMMISSIONERS LIFT THE BAN ON FIREWORKS SALES BUT OUTLAW THE USE

Glenwood Springs—The ban on the sale of fireworks in unicorporated Garfield County has been lifted by the board of commissioners with the condition that no one use them. Commissioners voted 2 to 1 yesterday to lift the ban but said in the midst of an active wildfire season, the use of fireworks will be prohibited from June 29th to the Fourth of July.

FIBERFORGE CLOSES GLENWOOD SPRINGS PLANT

Glenwood Springs—The thermoplastic manufacturing plant recently touted as a major player in the future of Glenwood Springs’ economy has closed. Fiberforge, which employed some 60 people, closed it’s plant on Devereaux Road after two years in business. Company officials say they struggled to turn a profit.

SKICO CLEARED BY OSHA IN DEATH OF SNOWMASS PATROLLER

Aspen— A federal agency’s investigation into the death of a longtime Snowmass ski patroller in December has cleared the Aspen Skiing Co. of any wrongdoing. Patsy Hileman, a 26-year veteran of the Snowmass Ski Patrol, was killed Dec. 30 when a small avalanche swept her over a cliff in the Hanging Valley Wall at the Snowmass Ski Area. The Wall area contains some of the most extreme terrain in Snowmass. The Denver office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration says Hileman was skiing in a permanently closed section called Ship’s Prow Glades. Hileman, who was on duty at the time and skiing by herself, died of injuries to her chest and back.

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