News in Brief | AspenTimes.com

News in Brief

Small wildfire sparked above Difficult CampgroundA wildfire that torched about an eighth of an acre a mile south of Difficult Campground near Aspen was considered contained early Saturday evening.The fire was started by a lightning strike and reported by members of the Aspen Fire Protection District at 8:12 p.m. Friday. Seven firefighters from the Upper Colorado Interagency Fire Management Unit out of Rifle responded to the small fire, which was on the boundary of the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness, according to Stephanie Brown, air center manager of the Grand Junction Interagency Fire Dispatch Center.As of 7 p.m., Brown said those firefighters were hiking out of the area. Although communication was spotty between the crew and dispatch, Brown speculated that their departure meant that the small fire was fully contained and under control.Earlier on Saturday afternoon Brown said the group anticipated no problems and was expecting containment by 7 p.m. Firefighters typically stay in an area until the fire has been suppressed, she said.

Fire restrictions enactedFire restrictions went into effect this weekend throughout the White River National Forest.Forest Service officials say the following restrictions will remain in effect until further notice:No campfires, except in campgrounds with designated fire grates;No smoking, except within enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or in a barren area free of vegetation;No use of explosive materials;No welding or operation of other types of torches;No operation of any internal combustion engine without a spark-arresting device that’s installed and in working order.The only exception to the fire restrictions is in the Flattops Wilderness Area, which has received higher-than-average rainfall. The wilderness area is clearly marked, so people shouldn’t be confused.Further restrictions may be enacted if the hot, dry weather continues.

Coloradans cope with blistering heatDENVER (AP) – Temperatures neared 100 degrees Saturday for the fifth day in a row in Denver and beyond that on the eastern plains, sending people scurrying to air-conditioned libraries, water parks and keeping the fire danger high.Crews were monitoring hot spots left from a 175-acre grass fire on a mountain near Golden. The blaze, which may have been started by fireworks, roared close to several homes, but was stopped late Friday night.Most of the other wildfires burning across Colorado were contained or weren’t threatening anything and were being allowed to burn to get rid of brush and other dry vegetation.An air tanker was fighting a 100-acre fire about five miles south of Newcastle in western Colorado. The cause of the blaze wasn’t known.More counties were considering fire restrictions as the hot, dry weather lingered. Douglas County banned all open fires, including campfires, and charcoal grills outside residential areas. The La Plata County commissioners planned to consider restrictions Monday.

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