CONTROLLED BURN GETS OUT OF CONTROL, KICKS UP HEAVY SMOKE
New Castle—A lot of folks from New Castle to Rifle had to shut their windows last night because of heavy smoke. It was coming from a controlled burn that quickly got out of control on County Road 311 between New Castle and Silt. According to reports from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, the call about the growing blaze went out around 7 pm. A home and a barn were in the path of the wind-whipped fire and evacuations were in effect for a couple of hours. Crews with Colorado River Fire Rescue were able to contain the blaze along with assistance from the Glenwood Springs and Grand Valley Fire Departments. Air crews were also alerted and put on standby. Firefighters worked through the night to maintain the perimeter. This morning, the fire had burned about 22 acres of mostly private land. Roughly three acres of BLM land was charred by the fire. This was the second controlled burn in the last 72 hours to get out of control. Last Friday afternoon, a fire near the edge of eastbound I-70 created a blanket of smoke thick enough to close the interstate at Mamm Creek for about an hour. Authorities say anyone planning a controlled burn or any work that might create sparks to use caution as fuels are abundant and rapidly drying out.
PITCO AUTHORITIES INVESTIGATE HIKER’S DEATH
Aspen—The death of an Arizona man found on a snowy trail near the Maroon Bells last Saturday remains a mystery. While investigators with the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office have ruled out foul play, they aren’t sure how 27 year old Jeffrey Bushroe of Tuscon died. His body was found next to the snow-packed trail to Crater Lake. Officials say he suffered severe bruises to his face and neck and might have been injured trying to find his way back down the trail on Friday. His body was found by a climber heading up the trail to Crater Lake on Saturday morning. Autopsy results are pending.
BACKCOUNTRY HIKERS, CLIMBERS BRAVING SNOWY CONDITIONS
Breckenridge—Anyone venturing out for a hike or climb in Colorado’s backcountry had better be prepared for the snow. A pair of hikers learned that first hand Monday after getting stranded about 300 feet below the summit of Quandary Peak outside of Breckenridge. The frigid, dangerous conditions forced the Summit County Rescue Group to summon the help of an Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopter as well as a volunteer from Mountain Rescue Aspen. The Mountain Rescue Aspen volunteer was lowered by a hoist device who then attached each person, one at a time to the device to be lifted safely aboard the chopper.