Roaring Fork Valley firefighters give Boulder a hand

Michael McLaughlin
The Aspen Times

The heavy flooding in Colorado might be on the east side of the Rocky Mountains, but the effects are resonating in Aspen.

Around 4 a.m. Friday, the Aspen Volunteer Fire Department sent three members of its swiftwater-rescue team to Boulder after receiving a mutual-aid request to assist with rescue missions in the area. The Snowmass-Wildcat Fire Protection District also sent two firefighters to help.

Later Friday, another volunteer firefighter from Snowmass, five from Carbondale and one from Basalt left for Boulder, making it a dozen volunteers from the valley who responded to help in Boulder.

“If someone needs help, we’re there,” said Ed Van Walraven, fire marshal for the Aspen Fire Protection District. “We’ll do what we can to help. Of course we’re hoping it all goes well. It’s a tough situation around Boulder right now.”

The forecast is for more rain through Sunday in the Boulder area. As of Thursday evening, the city of Boulder had received 14.62 inches of rain in a 72-hour period.

Boulder County remained under high threat of flooding Friday, according to the state Office of Emergency Management.

Friday morning, National Guard troops were evacuating the entire Boulder County town of Lyons, which had been cut off by flash floods.

Van Walraven said it’s not uncommon for help to come from all over the state in an emergency situation.

“If we needed help, I’m sure the emergency people in Boulder would reciprocate,” he said.