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News in Brief

Firefighters from Snowmass Village and Basalt on Thursday returned twice to a home in Old Snowmass that was gutted by a fire earlier in the week.

The log cabin of Paul Kovach and Katie Kitchen at 4994 Snowmass Creek Rd. caught fire Monday night and has been smoldering since then, despite the efforts of more than 20 firefighters.

Fire officials returned Thursday morning and then again in the afternoon, said Basalt Fire Chief Scott Thompson.

“Part of the problem is it’s not safe to put firefighters in there because of structural collapse [dangers],” he said. “A loft has collapsed into the living room floor, which collapsed into the basement. It’s basically a shell, so there’s really not much holding it up. The only thing we can do is sit outside and spray in the window.”

The flare-ups are a persistent problem that firefighters will continue to deal with, Thompson said.

Colorado Division of Wildlife trackers have confirmed there were at least six more lynx kittens born in Colorado last spring than initially thought, bringing the 2004 known total to 36.

“We have now documented 13 litters for the 2004 reproduction season with a total of 36 kittens,” said Tanya Shenk, the DOW’s lead lynx researcher, in a press release. “From snow tracking this month, we determined a female we suspected had given birth does have two kittens with her.”

Earlier this fall, the DOW also confirmed sightings by southwest Colorado residents of a female with four kittens, Shenk added.

In 2003, Shenk’s team located 16 kittens born to six females. At least 52 lynx have now been born in Colorado since the initial release in 1999.

The discovery of more kittens is the latest positive news in the DOW’s ongoing lynx recovery efforts.

“We have already received 16 lynx from Quebec that will be released next April in the core recovery area in southwestern Colorado,” said Scott Wait, the DOW’s Durango-area terrestrial biologist.


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