Aspen Times Roses and Thorns (July 6, 2018) |

Aspen Times Roses and Thorns (July 6, 2018)

• Bouquets of roses — there actually aren’t enough — go to the firefighters battling the Lake Christine Fire that erupted in the Basalt/El Jebel area Tuesday.

Their Herculean efforts so far have prevented the fire from spreading to more structures; as of noon Thursday two homes in El Jebel and one on Missouri Heights Ridge had been destroyed.

“We could have lost several hundred homes,” said Roger Staats, the Northern Rockies incident commander.

One of those who lost a home was Cleve Williams, an El Jebel native and volunteer firefighter. The destruction of Williams’ home, the one on Missouri Heights Ridge, did not deter him from continuing to fight the blaze with others Thursday. These are the real heros, folks.

• A big ol’ prickly, hook-like thorn both to the El Jebel couple charged with firing illegal tracer rounds at a Basalt shooting range that allegedly started the Lake Christine Fire, and to Colorado Parks and Wildlife for not closing the shooting range when even outdoor grilling was forbidden in this area. It doesn’t take a genius to realize this fire was preventable on many levels.

• A belated rose to the Colorado Department of Transportation, which took advantage of the low snow year and laid down two new sections of pavement on Independence Pass before the road opened Memorial Day Weekend. The new, smoother sections near the town of Independence and the Grottos have significantly improved the ride.

• A rose to Scott Vold owner of Cracks and Racks for seeing an Aspen Times employee improperly using her bike rack she had just bought from the Aspen Business Center retailer a couple weeks prior. Vold called his shop and made sure his employees told the employee how to load her bike rack the right way.