In Brief: No remains found in burned cabin; prescribed wildland fires planned; more vehicles go electric at airport |

In Brief: No remains found in burned cabin; prescribed wildland fires planned; more vehicles go electric at airport

Staff Report

Resident missing after fire destroys cabin; no remains found

The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office is looking for Michael Kevin Leese, the resident of a cabin that was destroyed in a fire on Frying Pan Road on Sunday morning. He was last seen on Saturday, March 25, the day before the fire started, in Basalt, officials said.

The Sheriff’s Office reported that the investigation did not lead to the recovery of Leese and has shifted to an ongoing missing person case.

Investigators used their hands, small tools, and a cadaver dog as they methodically dug through the wreckage of the cabin, officials said. With the amount of destruction, the cause of the fire is unable to be determined, and there is no evidence to suggest foul play, they said.

Michael Kevin Leese

Leese has been entered into the National Crime Information Center as a missing person. He is 5-8, weighs 140 pounds, has hazel eyes, and blond hair. If anyone knows of his whereabouts, officials ask that you contact the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Unit at 970-328-8530.

Prescribed wildland fires planned across region

Fire managers from the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit are planning several prescribed fires on federal lands in Eagle, Mesa, Pitkin, and Rio Blanco counties in the coming weeks.

The fires are aimed at reducing dense vegetation to lower the risk of large wildfires and stimulate new vegetation growth that benefits wildlife, officials said.

“We closely monitor weather and fuels prior to burning, and we will only ignite these prescribed
fires if conditions are good for a safe, effective burn,” said Lathan Johnson, assistant fire
management officer for the unit. “We are also watching weather conditions for optimal smoke dispersal to minimize impacts to nearby communities.”

Smoke may be seen from nearby communities and roads. Smoke should dissipate during the day
but may remain on the valley floors as temperatures drop.

Fire managers are planning the following burns this spring on White River National Forest and
Bureau of Land Management administered lands if conditions allow:

  • Avalanche Creek Prescribed Fire, Aspen-Sopris Ranger District (Pitkin County): seven miles south of Carbondale, up to 500 acres.
  • Braderich Creek Prescribed Fire, Aspen-Sopris Ranger District (Pitkin County): one mile west of Redstone, up to 2,000 acres.
  • Collins Creek Prescribed Fire, Aspen-Sopris Ranger District (Pitkin County): Seven miles north of Aspen, up to 1,500 acres
  • Muddy Sheep Prescribed Fire, Eagle Holy Cross Ranger District (Eagle County): five miles north of Edwards, up to 2,000 acres.
  • Cottonwood Creek Prescribed Fire, BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office (Eagle County): four miles north of Eagle, up to 460 acres
  • Farmers Canyon Prescribed Fire, BLM Grand Junction Field Office (Mesa County): 18 miles south of Grand Junction, up to 70 acres.
  • Palisade Watershed Prescribed Fire, BLM Grand Junction Field Office (Mesa County): four miles southeast of Palisade, up to 410 acres.
  • Aldrich Lakes Prescribed Fire, Blanco Ranger District (Rio Blanco County): 14 miles northeast of Meeker, up to 3,000 acres

Contact Lathan Johnson at 970-257-4819 for more information.

Atlantic Aviation goes nearly all electric with ramp service vehicles at airport

Atlantic Aviation announced it has converted nearly all its ramp service vehicles at Aspen/Pitkin County Airport to electric-powered.

The FBO operator said it has begun using battery-powered ground power units (GPUs), which reduce noise and greenhouse gas emissions at the airport by some 180 tons of carbon dioxide equivalents per year, according to the company. Atlantic also has put some of the industry’s first all-electric fuel trucks into service on their Aspen ramp. 

The 10 new all-electric GPUs and the new all-electric fuel trucks join the company’s fleet of electric tugs, carts, and hybrid crew vehicles servicing customers and their aircraft at the Aspen airport Through these efforts, Atlantic officials said they have transitioned 80% of their ground fleet at the airport to low or zero-emission vehicles. 

“Our efforts in Aspen are a key part of a cohesive strategy to raise the bar on what we as a company and as an industry can do to minimize business aviation’s impact on the environment,” said Brian Corbett, chief commercial & sustainability officer at Atlantic Aviation.

“We realize ramp service vehicles and equipment are a significant source of carbon emissions and noise, both on the ramp and for our neighbors,” he said. “Our long-term investment in battery-power, combined with promoting cooperative ‘park quiet’ programs provide our guests and members of the community with even greater enjoyment of the incredible beauty of the Roaring Fork Valley. Our work at ASE sets a high standard for sustainability and noise reduction, which we will be able to replicate at other locations across our network.” 

Valley View heart center earns achievement award

The Valley View Heart & Vascular Center announced it has received the Performance Achievement Award from the American College of Cardiology for Chest Pain – MI Registry. The award recognizes hospitals participating in the registry who have demonstrated sustained, top-level performance in quality of care and adherence to guideline recommendations, according to Valley View. 

In addition to this award, Valley View’s Heart & Vascular Center team, led by cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Stephen Jones and physician assistant Trever Gerber, performed its 100th open-heart surgery in February. 


Local 14 year old writes young adult novels

Nyala Honey has done more in her 14 years on this earth than many people accomplish in decades. The 14-year-old Basalt resident has published two young adult novels, which she’ll talk about and read from at Explore Booksellers at 2 p.m. on June 8.

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