News, June 14th

WILDFIRES IN GARFIELD COUNTY

Rifle—Wildfire season has begun in Garfield County. Last night just before 8 o’clock, lightning ignited hit a tree and sparked a small fire on BLM land in the Beaver Creek area about 7 miles southwest of Rifle. Authorities with Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit report that no structures are threatened but some utilities lines are in the path of the fire that so far has burned close to 10 acres. Officials say the fire is burning in sagebrush and pinon juniper and is being fanned by strong, gusty winds. Three UCR engine crews have been fighting the fire along with crews and equipment from Rifle, Grand Valley and Grand Junction. With calmer winds and somewhat cooler temperatures expected for the next couple of days, crews are optimistic they’ll have the Beaver Creek fire fully contained tonight. In addition, lighting sparked at least three small wildfires in the area including two on the Roan Plateau and one off of Highway 13 between Rifle and Meeker.

LOCAL CREWS SENT TO BLACK FOREST FIRE

Colorado Springs—Local firefighters and equipment have been sent to help out crews battling the state’s most destructive fire. The Carbondale, Basalt and Snowmass fire departments sent additional personnel to the Black Forest Fire which so far has claimed two lives, destroyed 389 homes and scorched over 16 thousand acres.

2nd AMENDMENT RALLY AT HOTEL COLORADO

Glenwood Springs—Colorado’s new gun laws are unconstitutional according to a federal lawsuit filed by 54 county sheriffs. Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario is among the plaintiffs looking to strike down the laws calling for mandatory background checks for all gun transfers and magazine limits. Vallario was joined by three other sheriffs for a 2nd Amendment meeting and rally this week at the Hotel Colorado. Over 100 vocal and enthusiastic gun rights activists crammed into the hot, stuffy Devereaux Room to learn more about the lawsuit. University of Denver Constitutional Law Professor David Kopel is arguing the case in hopes of preventing the laws from going into effect by July 1st.

ANNUAL CORN FESTIVAL CANCELED

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) – The Olathe Town Board is canceling its long-running Sweet Corn Festival this year over budget problems.
Town clerk Bobbi Sale says the board has to focus on essential services and they hope it will resume next year. This year’s festival was planned for Aug. 2 and Aug. 3. It would have been the 22nd year celebrating the unique regional summer event.