News, June 21st

NEW FIRE NORTH OF RIFLE & NORTHWEST OF BURNS

Rifle—Another lightning-sparked wildfire is burning northeast of Rifle, not far from the recently contained Ward Gulch Fire. Officials with the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit say the Brush Creek Fire has burned about 300 acres since last night on BLM land with no structures in danger. Currently, two hot shot crews including one from Columbia River are working to create some containment lines along with four engines and two water-dropping helicopters. Air tankers have also been called to the fire that is burning 10 miles north of Rifle in steep, rugged terrain. Meanwhile in northern Eagle County, a small wildfire is burning on Forest Service land about 10 miles northwest of Burns. Officials say it has burned less than three acres however spotting ahead of the fire is proving to be a challenge for the local crew. A red flag warning is in effect for all of western Colorado.

LOCAL RIVER FLOWS CONTINUE TO PLUMMET

Carbondale—Colorado needs rain and lots of it. Officials with the Roaring Fork Conservancy say drought conditions are getting worse by the day. According to the latest stream flow report, the Roaring Fork River at Glenwood Springs dropped by more than 1,000 cfs in the last week and is now flowing at 56 percent of average. In Aspen, the Roaring Fork is at 31 percent. Ruedi Reservoir is now 88 percent full.

GLENWOOD CITY COUNCIL REJECTS GRAND AVENUE BRIDGE BALLOT QUESTION

Glenwood Springs—There will be no ballot question aksing local voters about the Grand Avenue Bridge. Last night, the city council rejected a citizen group’s proposal to put the 60 million dollar project to a public vote. Council members say it would be a foolish waste of money to pay for a special election not to mention the state’s offer to pay for the new bridge.

CRAIG BROTHERS INDICTED FOR ILLEGALLY DUMPING WASTE ON FED LAND

Grand Junction—Two brothers from Craig could be going to prison for a long time for dumping waste from their property onto BLM land. Federal prosecutors say Leland and Bradford Smith used heavy equipment to dig ditches, excavate pits, create ponds and alter the flow of the Woodbury Gulch water channel on federal land. Investigators say the Smith brothers dumped garbage, waste and debris from their property for an extended period of time. The two will be arraigned in federal court next week in Grand Junction.

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