Updated 9:30 AM Tuesday:
The Ward Creek Fire near Rifle Gap has had no new growth in the past 24 hours. Containment is at 85% after a very good day Monday. At 8:30-9 pm Monday night the barriers will be removed to allow public travel on Colorado State Highway 325. Travelers are asked to use caution due to firefighting equipment and personnel still along the highway. The number of firefighters still working Monday was 250, but more are expected to be released to work on other fires on Tuesday.
The reservoir at Rifle Gap may be partially opened soon, with the closed area still accommodating a helicopter dipping water from it. Camping at Rifle Falls State Park is expected to be allowed again in coming days.
Work along the rugged Yankee Division area progressed well Monday. Fire managers have not been advised of any livestock affected by the blaze. BLM resource hydrologists are reviewing the burned pinon and juniper area to evaluate rehabilitation requirements to determine if firefighters on the scene now will conduct some early measures before leaving.
Residents and evacuees from the Ward Gulch fire attended a public meeting at the Rile Fire Station on Saturday afternoon. KDNK's Marilyn Gleason covered the meeting and spoke to those affected by the blaze.
For this week's KDNK news brief, Ed Wiliams and Amy Hadden Marsh talk about the Garfield County Commissioners' 2-1 split in favor of maintaining a 35-ft building setback from riverbanks.
At June's monthly energy advisory board meeting, a small group of citizens, press and a class of high school students learned about new federal reports on local water. The studies drew on more than 50 years of data and sought to identify the quality of ground and surface water in the Piceance Basin. And as KDNK’s Marilyn Gleason reports, the studies apply to several watersheds in Western Colorado.
The groundwater and surface water studies are available on the U.S. Geological Survey's website.
And ear-piercing fire alarm interrupted Tuesday's Garfield County commissioner hearing about the proposed revisions to the county's land use code. In the thick of an extended conversation about water protections, a scheduled fire drill forced participants to evacuate the building. But as KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh reports, that didn't stop commissioners and conservationists from compromising on water body and wetland protections.
Related: Army Corps of Engineers biologist weighs in on Federal protection of wetlands and water bodies in GarCo, GarCo land use code revisions could mean big changes for county, GarCo revising county land use codes
Lauren Maytin is a criminal defense attorney who represents clients charged with marijuana offenses. In this episode she talks about the philosophical and financial implications of legalization on her practice and on her clients.
Army Corps of Engineers biologist weighs in on Federal protection of wetlands and water bodies in GarCoJune 11, 2013
Garfield county Commissioners are in the process of revising the county land use code. Public hearings about Phase II of the revisions began in May. One section of the code pertains to county standards for wetlands and water body protections, which may be deleted if the current recommendations are approved, including the existing 35-foot construction setback. Commissioners say that state and Federal regulations are enough.
KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh spoke with Army Corps of Engineers biologist Leslie McWhirter about Federal regulations and found out that no setbacks are required.
Related: GarCo land use code revisions could mean big changes for county, GarCo revising county land use codes
The problem of being unable to live where you work is one that plagues people in resort communities across the west. For the latest edition of Sounds of the High Country, KDNK's look inside the current issue of High Country News, Nelson Harvey spoke with the magazine's senior editor, Ray Ring, about the housing woes now afflicting Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and the delicate balance of protecting a pristine environment while housing the people who work there.
Workers continue to clean up a natural gas liquids spill near Parachute Creek earlier this year. But questions remain about site-owner Williams Midstream and other operators in the Parachute Creek area. On this week's News Brief, KDNK's Eric Skalac and Ed Williams talk about the violations and fines revealed by Environmental Protection Agency records.
Mark Dahlstrom is a doctor in the Roaring Fork Valley. He voted for Amendment 64 and conducts medical marijuana exams. Here he talks about how the amendment legalizing recreational marijuana will affect his business.