News

SMOKE FROM NW FIRES SPREADS, PROMPTS FRONT RANGE HEALTH WARNINGS

Glenwood Springs—A health advisory has been expanded to the front range due to the smoke from the wildfires in the northwest.  The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says people with respiratory problems or a heart condition to remain indoors if the smoke gets heavy.  The advisory includes Denver to Fort Collins and Grand Junction to Julesberg.  Oddly enough, despite smoky, hazy skies persisting locally, Garfield County Environmental Health Specialist Morgan Hill says air monitors are still reading “moderate” and “not unhealthy for sensitive groups.”  Hill says the readings have been consistent at all three monitoring sites in Glenwood Springs, Rifle and Carbondale.

COLORADO WILDFIRES BEING MONITORED

Undated—While neighboring states continue to suffer through their worst wildfire season in history, Colorado remains relatively unscathed.  Firefighting crews are currently monitoring a pair of small, lightning-sparked wildfires, one in the San Juan National Forest near Dolores and another in the Rio Grande National Forest near Capulin, just west of La Jara.  Earlier this week, a wildfire near Craig burned about a thousand acres and is now fully contained.  Crews from that fire were sent to battle other blazes including one outside of Meeker that officials say is about 50 percent contained. The fire there has destroyed at least a dozen vehicles and four outbuildings. Firefighters were able to save a couple of homes from burning.  Authorities say fire danger is very high because of low humidity, dry vegetation and gusty winds.  A red flag warning has also been issued by the National Weather Service for Western Colorado until 11 o’clock tonight.

ANOTHER WESTERN SLOPE CASE OF RABBIT FEVER

Grand Junction—For the second time this month, a Western Colorado woman has contracted tularemia, also known as Rabbit Fever.  Mesa County health officials say the woman was probably bitten by a tick or a deer fly while rafting on the Colorado River.  Earlier this month, another woman rafting on the Colorado contracted Rabbit Fever. Symptoms of the bacterial disease include fever, vomiting, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, headache, chills and exhaustion.  It can be fatal if gone untreated.  So far this year, 27 cases of Rabbit Fever have been reported in Colorado, compared to a total of 16 cases in 2014.