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News in Brief

ASPEN Mark your calendar: Winter X Games 12 will take place Jan. 24-27 at Buttermilk.Buttermilk will host the ESPN-sponsored winter-sports spectacle through 2010, for a total of nine consecutive years.In 2008, the Games will air live on ESPN and ABC. Last winter, Winter X Games 11 reached an average of 734,000 households during prime time, according to ESPN, making it the most-viewed Winter X Games ever. On the final day of the 2007 Games, the Sunday evening telecast was the most-viewed in Winter X Games history, with 925,377 households tuned into the event, according to the network.The 2007 event was also the most-viewed ever among several key demographic groups, according to ESPN, including young people and young men in their teens, 20s and 30s.Winter X Games 12 will again feature ski, snowboard and snowmobile competitions.

PITKIN COUNTY A fast-acting homeowner at Lazy Glen Mobile Home Park doused flames in a fifth-wheel pull trailer before they spread to his nearby mobile home Thursday afternoon.Two witnesses notified Mike Crowley of smoke and flames coming from the trailer shortly after noon, said Jerry Peetz, Basalt deputy fire chief. “He was able to use a garden hose to extinguish the flames so it was just smoldering when we got there,” Peetz said.Crowley acted quickly enough so that there never was a threat of the fire spreading to his mobile home, about 10 feet away, according to Peetz.The fire was confined to a 4-foot area of the trailer behind a small refrigerator. An Aspen Fire Department investigator determined that the fire was accidental, caused by heat buildup on the wall from the operation of the refrigerator, Peetz said. The wall got hot enough that it reached the ignition point, he said. No dollar estimate of the damage was immediately available.Two passers-by reported the fire at 12:15 p.m. after spotting the flames and smoke. Crowley was nearby at the time. He was staying in the fifth wheel because he has his mobile home at space No. 1 in Lazy Glen listed for sale, Peetz said.The first engine from Basalt Fire Department arrived on scene at 12:25 p.m. Firefighters made sure the fire was out and helped with salvage operations.The fire kept a strange-but-true streak intact for the department: More often than not, the department gets called to a structure fire when Fire Chief Scott Thompson leaves on vacation, firefighters noted. Thompson departed Thursday morning. Fortunately, he doesn’t take many vacations.

EAGLE COUNTY A 22-year-old woman and 27-year-old man were rescued at about 12:30 p.m. Thursday after spending the night in the wilderness, according to an Eagle County Sheriff’s Office news release. The woman called her father on a cell phone shortly before 8 p.m. Wednesday to ask for directions out of the wilderness, where she and her boyfriend had become disoriented, the release said. After her cell phone lost service, her father became concerned and contacted the sheriff’s office. The Vail Mountain Rescue Group began searching for the couple shortly after 10 p.m.A search and rescue team located the hikers at 12:26 p.m. Thursday near Piney Lake, north of Vail. The hikers lost their way on a snow-covered trail but followed the contour of the mountain to the lake, where they camped overnight, Tim Cochrane, coordinator for Vail Mountain Rescue Group, said in the release. “From a search-and-rescue standpoint, it went very well,” Cochrane said. “We were able to locate tracks in the snow and follow them.”Hiking conditions can vary greatly during spring, he said. At more than 11,000 feet, the trail to Piney Lake was under more than 3 feet of snow in some areas, he said. “This stuff happens, and as a mountain rescue team we can only work with the information we have,” Cochrane said. (Vail Daily)


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