CDOT: I-70 westbound open in both lanes near Glenwood Springs

UPDATE: 8.6.20 at 8 p.m. – Both westbound lanes are open; delays will shorten as traffic moves through South Canyon.

Mile marker 111 Fire update

FINAL UPDATE: Crews made significant progress on the 111 Fire today, which is now 85 percent contained at nine acres. The right-hand lane of westbound I-70 was closed while crews worked on the steep rugged terrain, mopping up any existing hot spots. Westbound I-70 traffic is backed up at Glenwood Springs, please drive with caution through the area.

8.6.20 at 3 p.m. – Motorists should plan for significant delays on I-70 westbound in the Glenwood Springs area. Westbound traffic is moving slowly due to a lane closure in South Canyon, west of Glenwood Springs, which is necessary for assisting firefighting operations on the 111 Fire. It is likely the delays will continue well into the evening, due to heavy commuter traffic. 

Fire updates are available at garfieldcounty.net emergency management feed. Visit garco911.com to register for emergency alerts, including evacuations and all hazard notifications.

GCSO: Road closures in place near DeBeque due to Pine Gulch Fire

Wildland fire is burning 18 miles north of Grand Junction

The Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team sent out a press release at 10:00 AM this morning regarding the Pine Gulch Fire near DeBeque, Colorado. The fire, initially triggered by a lightning strike on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land in Mesa County, had expanded tremendously. By Wednesday evening, it had grown to 11,846 acres and moved into Garfield County.

The expansions into Garfield County has necessitated the closure of area roads at key intersections. Garfield County Road 200 is closed at the intersection of CR204/X ½ Road and County Road 200. Only local residents/homeowners will be allowed access to CR 200 with limited access for the ranchers and fossil fuel operators at the lower end of CR 200.

The second closure is at the “Y” by the High Lonesome Ranch on CR 200.

Road closures are necessary for the health, safety and protection of the public as well as the first responders called upon to battle a wildland fire. Closures allow for safe movement of equipment and personnel, necessary to fight the fire, into and out of the area.

We appreciate the concern as well as the cooperation of the public by minimizing their travels into these areas and obeying all closure signs when it is necessary to travel into the areas. Remember to that all wildland fire areas are “No Drone” flight areas.

Additional information will be released as it becomes available.

CDOT: I-70 westbound open in both lanes near Glenwood Springs

Updated Valley View COVID-19 cumulative stats

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, COLO. – The following are updated statistics from Valley View:

Valley View COVID-19 Cumulative Stats 8/6/2020:
Specimens collected thru Valley View: 6,238
Positive results: 369
Pending results:  56
Patients admitted with COVID-19 since outbreak began: 55
Admitted patients discharged: 46
Reported numbers are from Valley View only and could change at any time.

Definitions:

Specimens collected: These are specimens collected by Valley View providers that are tested by Valley View’s laboratory in Glenwood Springs or sent to an outside laboratory to conduct COVID-19 testing. This is a cumulative number.

Positive results: These are the number of positive COVID-19 results returned from the Valley View specimens tested. This definition is updated on April 21 to clarify that the positive results represent positive patients. This is a cumulative number.

Patients admitted with COVID-19 since outreach began: Patients with a positive COVID-19 test who have been hospitalized at Valley View. This is a cumulative number.

Admitted patients discharged: Of admitted patients with a positive COVID-19 test, number who have been discharged from Valley View Hospital. Patients may be discharged to recover at home, to hospice or to psychiatric care. This is a cumulative number.

Additional questions:

“From whom is Valley View collecting specimens?” Valley View is testing:

  *   Patients who are symptomatic and have been referred by their primary care provider.

  *   Patients undergoing medically necessary surgery.

  *   Patients undergoing designated procedures that are high risk for aerosol generation.

  *   Patients with a referral from their primary care provider for a test needed for work or travel.

“What kind of PCR test does Valley View offer?” Currently, Valley View has a nasopharyngeal PCR test. For the nasopharyngeal swab, a special swab of the nose occurs, it is then placed in a tube and sent for testing.

“What is the difference between the number of patients admitted and number of patients discharged?” The difference between the number of patients and admitted patients discharged represents current hospitalized patients, patients transferred to other hospitals or those who have passed away. For example, if there are 21 patients admitted and 16 discharged, the difference is five. This is a cumulative number representing the entirety of Valley View’s efforts caring for COVID-19 patients. Therefore five total patients are hospitalized, have been transferred to a hospital as they need a higher level of care or, unfortunately, have passed away. Valley View will not offer additional details so as to protect their privacy.

“What is the turnaround for test results?”  At this point, Valley View is receiving test results same-day to 48 hours. The variability in time is due to the type of test ordered by the provider. For example, an individual experiencing a medical emergency may require a rapid test.

“The number of positive tests is not the same as admitted patients. Why?” Not all positive patients require hospitalization. For patients with mild symptoms, his/her doctor may recommend that they recover at home with specific instructions (e.g. isolation, monitor symptoms). Other positive patients may be very ill and need hospitalization.

“What is the status of these individual hospitalized patients?” Per the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Valley View will not speak to the specific status of an individual patient.

Updated Valley View COVID-19 cumulative stats

Roaring Fork Schools announce fall athletic plans

The Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) announced that boys golf, softball, boys tennis, and cross country have been given approval from the state’s COVID-19 Response team within the governor’s office to begin play this fall. Following CHSAA’s direction, the Roaring Fork Schools developed a plan that mirrors the safety regulations issued at the state level. This plan was reviewed by Garfield, Pitkin, and Eagle County Public Health Departments, and these team sports will now resume.

“While the decision to allow our athletes to participate in these CHSAA approved sports may feel inconsistent with our more cautious approach to opening the school year with distance learning, both decisions are based on the guidance of the respective governing authorities,” said Superintendent Rob Stein. “We are eager to give our kids opportunities to resume normal activities safely such as playing outdoor sports with minimal contact and many safety protocols in place, and we hope that these early opportunities will pave the way to more in-person interaction with our students as the fall unfolds.”

The safety regulations include a daily COVID-19 screening, social distancing during practices and contests when possible, masks are required except during active play, and no locker room use. Additionally, any student that chooses to participate in RFSD athletic activities must complete a CHSAA waiver. See the full plan details here.

On August 4, CHSAA announced a revised athletics and activities calendar for the 2020-21 school year that splits sports into four seasons and moves all contact sports, including football and volleyball, later in the calendar.  

“The board was excited to hear CHSAA’s COVID plan that provides access for student athletes in this unpredictable environment,” said Roaring Fork Schools Board President Jen Rupert. “While we all agree that a return to normal activity would be ideal, the rearranging and shortening of seasons to be able to offer sports in a safe way provides a really important opportunity for our students at a time when so many options are limited.”

PARA PUBLICACIÓN INMEDIATA

6 de august 2020

Las Escuelas Roaring Fork anuncian planes deportivos para el otoño

La Asociación de Actividades de Escuelas Preparatorias de Colorado (CHSAA por sus siglas en inglés) anunció que el golf para varones, softbol, tenis para varones y el cross country han recibido la aprobación del equipo de Respuesta COVID-19 del estado dentro de la oficina del Gobernador para comenzar a jugar este otoño. Siguiendo la dirección de la CHSAA, las Escuelas Roaring Fork desarrollaron un plan que refleja las regulaciones de seguridad emitidas a nivel estatal. Este plan fue revisado por los departamentos de salud pública de los condados de Garfield, Pitkin y Eagle, y ahora se reanudará.

“Aunque la decisión de permitir que nuestros atletas participen en estos deportes aprobados por CHSAA puede parecer inconsistente con nuestro enfoque más cauteloso de abrir el año escolar con la educación a distancia, ambas decisiones se basan en la orientación de las respectivas autoridades gubernamentales”, dijo el superintendente Rob Stein. “Estamos ansiosos por dar a nuestros jóvenes oportunidades de reanudar las actividades normales de manera segura, como la práctica de deportes al aire libre con mínimo contacto y aplicando varios protocolos de seguridad, y esperamos que con estas oportunidades iniciales se abra el camino a una mayor interacción en persona con nuestros estudiantes a medida que se desarrolle el otoño”.

Las normas de seguridad incluyen una prueba de COVID-19 diariamente, distanciamiento social durante las prácticas y competencias cuando sea posible, uso de mascarillas excepto durante el juego activo, y no usar los vestuarios. Además, cualquier estudiante que elija participar en las actividades deportivas de RFSD debe completar el formulario de exención de CHSAA. Para ver los detalles del plan completo, haga clic aquí.

El 4 de agosto, CHSAA anunció un calendario revisado de deportes y actividades para el año escolar 2020-21 que divide los deportes en cuatro temporadas y mueve todos los deportes de contacto, incluyendo el fútbol y el voleibol, más adelante en el calendario. 

“La Junta Educativa se entusiasmó al escuchar el plan de COVID de CHSAA que provee acceso a los estudiantes atletas en este ambiente impredecible”, dijo la Presidenta de la Junta Educativa de las Escuelas Roaring Fork, Jen Rupert. “Aunque todos estamos de acuerdo en que el regreso a la actividad normal sería ideal, la reorganización y el acortamiento de las temporadas para poder ofrecer los deportes de manera segura proporciona una oportunidad realmente importante para nuestros estudiantes en un momento en que tantas opciones son limitadas.”

Roaring Fork Schools announce fall athletic plans

Crews battle wildfire along Interstate 70 west of Glenwood Springs

Glenwood Springs, Colo. — On Aug. 5, the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire and Aviation Management Unit (UCR) along with Glenwood Springs Fire Department and other local agencies responded to a vegetation fire on the north side of Interstate 70 near mile marker 111.

Multiple agencies had a quick response and aided in the initial attack. Air support from the Pine Gulch Fire in western Garfield County was able to assist with water drops. Pre-evacuations were ordered for Ami’s Acres Campground during initial attack and will remain in place through this afternoon due to the red flag warning. There are currently no structures threatened.

Due to more accurate mapping, the fire is nine acres in size and crews have been able to stop the forward progression. The fire is determined to be human caused and is under investigation.

Colorado Department of Transportation with have the right-hand westbound lane temporarily closed during firefighting efforts. Travelers should expect slight delays and drive with caution.

“We saw great coordination between local, state and federal agencies which made for quick and efficient initial attack,” said UCR Incident Commander Ryan Hughes “That coordination and shared resources allowed us to be able to stop this fire from potentially becoming a large incident.”

Sixty-five personnel, one Type 3 helicopter, three hand crews, and several engines are securing the perimeter and extinguishing hotspots within the fire. Smoke may be seen, but is not expected to impact communities given the decrease in fire behavior and suppression efforts. With the current red flag warning and the hot and dry conditions, fire personnel are taking all precautions to gain full containment by end of today.

Fire updates are available at garfiedcounty.net emergency management feed. Visit garco911.com to register for emergency alerts, including evacuations and all hazard notifications.

###

The Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire and Aviation Management Unit (UCR) includes Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service firefighting resources that cover 5.8 million acres along the Interstate 70, Colorado River and Roaring Fork River corridors from the Continental Divide to the Utah state line. The UCR includes the White River National Forest and the BLM’s Colorado River Valley and Grand Junction field offices. The UCR cooperates with other federal and state agencies, local communities, and fire departments on a wide range of activities including fuels treatments, fire prevention, and suppression.

Crews battle wildfire along Interstate 70 west of Glenwood Springs

RMIMT: Pine Gulch Fire grows to 11,846 Acres; Red Flag warning for Thursday

Current situation: The Pine Gulch Fire has been very active over the last 36 hours, growing to 11,846 acres by Wednesday evening. Containment remains at 5%. The fire has primarily grown to the north with small increases in acreage on the northeast on Wednesday and northwest on Wednesday night.

On Thursday, crews on the south side of the fire will hold and improve the prep work that was done along the 910 Road on Wednesday. On the west-northwest side of the fire, crews were able to tie into a rocky slope on the west side of the fire yesterday and will continue constructing line to the east with hand crews and bulldozers over the course of the day Thursday. Firefighters on the north side of the fire will continue removing fuels along the North Dry Fork Road (200 Road) and continuing structure assessments. Crews on the east-northeast side of the fire will continue removing fuels along the X ½ Road and will be putting structure protection in place for structures on the west side of the fire area. Aerial resources will be available again today to assist efforts on the ground.

Four more engines and additional crews will be added to a “swing shift.” These crews will work the late afternoon to early morning hours in on the south side of the fire to continue operations initiated during the day.

Weather & fuel conditions: Even though temperatures will be a few degrees cooler on Thursday, a Red Flag Warning is in effect for the Pine Gulch Fire from 11am to 8pm due to expected gusty winds and hot, dry conditions. The forecast calls for wind gusts of 25 to 30 mph in the afternoon with very low humidity – near 10%. Conditions over next two days will be critical on the fire line as activity is expected increase with potential for high rates of spread.

Closures and evacuations: There is a closure in place on Mesa County Road X 1/2 after High Lonesome Ranch (275 County Road 222) to prevent nonessential traffic from entering the fire area. The presence of non-fire traffic within the area is a distraction and a hazard to firefighters and members of the public. There are no evacuations in place at this time.

Fire restrictions: Fire danger across the region is rated as very high. Both Mesa County and Garfield County have Stage 1 Fire Restrictions. BLM lands within the Grand Junction Field Office are also under Stage 1 Restrictions. To learn more about fire restrictions on BLM-managed lands in western Colorado, please visit https://go.usa.gov/xfVFY.

Temporary flight restrictions: A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place over the Pine Gulch Fire. Wildfires are a No Drone Zone. If you fly, we can’t. Whenever a drone is spotted near the fire all aircraft are grounded until we can be sure the drone is clear of the area. For more information, visit http://knowbeforeyoufly.org.

Pine Gulch Fire Statistics:
Size: 11,846 acres
Containment: 5%
Total personnel: 232
Location: approximately 18 miles north of Grand Junction, CO
Reported: July 31, approximately 5:15 p.m.
Cause: lightning

For more information:
Information Office: (970) 628-0130, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Email: 2020.PineGulch@firenet.gov
InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6906/
Facebook: facebook.com/PineGulchFireCO

RMIMT: Pine Gulch Fire grows to 11,846 Acres; Red Flag warning for Thursday

Colorado aviation groups conducting statewide FEMA face mask airlift

Denver  – The Colorado Aviation Business Association (CABA) and Angel Flight West (AFW), with the assistance of Denver International Airport and the Colorado Division of Aeronautics, will host a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Mask Airlift on Saturday, Aug. 8, from Signature Flight Support at Centennial Airport located in Englewood.

The airlift mission will be carried out by volunteer pilots, and will deliver over 300,000 masks to airports around the state. Masks were provided by FEMA to Denver International Airport for distribution to Colorado’s public-use airports. The masks will be used by airport staff, tenants, pilots, and passengers, to help in stopping the spread of COVID-19. 

“This is a unique opportunity for general aviation pilots to come together in a coordinated response to this pandemic” said Chris Swathwood, chairman of CABA. “We hope it will also help to highlight the critical role aviation plays in our state during times of need, as well as the important role Colorado’s smaller airports play in their local communities.”

“Since the end of March, our volunteer pilots, in collaboration with the Colorado Hospital Association, have been flying PPE to hospitals all over the state,” said Cheri Cimmarrusti, AFW’s associate executive director.  “Now we’re proud to continue our work by partnering with CABA, and other aviation organizations to help slow the spread of COVID-19 by providing PPE to Colorado’s airports.”

Volunteers will be on hand at Signature Flight Support on Friday morning, Aug. 7, to sort the packages of masks for delivery to the individual airports. Then early Saturday morning, pilots donating both their time and aircraft will make the flight to over 30 Colorado airports to deliver the FEMA provided masks as part of the COVID-19 response.  

Colorado aviation groups conducting statewide FEMA face mask airlift

Updated Grand River Health COVID-19 cumulative stats for August 6, 2020

RIFLE, COLO. – The following are updated statistics from Grand River Health:

Grand River Health COVID-19 cumulative stats 8/6/2020:
Number of individuals tested: 2,434
Positive results: 164
Pending results: 18
New positives since 8/4/20: 1
Patients admitted with COVID-19 since outbreak began: 8
Patients transferred: 2
Patients discharged: 6

Reported numbers are from Grand River Health only and could change at any time.

All Clinic services,  hospital and specialty services are open. All patients will be screened appropriately and patients with current symptoms will be scheduled for appointments in the respiratory clinic. 

All appointments can be made by calling 625-1100. Patients are asked to wear a mask while in the facility.

Updated Grand River Health COVID-19 cumulative stats for August 6, 2020

Extreme fire behavior pushes Pine Gulch Fire to 9,210 acres

Wildfire is in far western Garfield County north of Grand Junction

Incident Type: Wildfire
Update: 4 p.m. – 8.5.20
Size: 9,210 Acres
Contained: 5%

8.5.20 at 11:42 am – Pine Gulch Fire grows to 5,685 acres on Tuesday

The Pine Gulch Fire on Tuesday continued to burn through areas of thick, heavy and extremely dry vegetation. As it burned towards the north and northeast, the fire made several strong fuel-driven uphill runs onto Horse Mountain. In addition to burning in sage and pinyon-juniper, the fire is also burning in mixed conifer as it moves into higher elevations. A multi-mission aircraft (MMA) flight over the fire late Tuesday afternoon estimated the fire at 5,685 acres and containment remained at 5%. Additional resources arrived on Tuesday to join suppression efforts with a total of 232 personnel on the fire as of Tuesday afternoon.

On Wednesday, crews on the south side of the fire will work to keep the fire from moving south of the 910 Road. Firefighters on the north side of the fire will be working on structure protection and removing fuels along the 200 Road. On the southeast side of the fire, will be removing fuels along the X 1/2 Road.

The fire was active on Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, yet fire activity is expected to increase as temperatures rise through the day and winds increase. As we have seen over the past several days, the Pine Gulch Fire has the potential to generate large amounts of smoke that can affect nearby communities and those downwind. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has issued an Air Quality Health Advisory for northern Mesa County and southwestern Garfield County. More information on that advisory can be found at https://www.colorado.gov/airquality/colo_advisory.aspx.

Weather & Fuel Conditions: Hot, dry and unstable atmospheric conditions will continue on Wednesday and Thursday, though each day will see a degree or so of cooling while the west-southwest winds slightly increase. High temperatures are forecasted in the upper 80s, with humidity in the low teens, and winds gusts in the 20 to 25 mph range.

Closures: There is a closure in place on Mesa County Road X 1/2 after High Lonesome Ranch (275 County Road 222) to prevent nonessential traffic from entering the fire area. The presence of non-fire traffic within the area is a distraction and a hazard to firefighters and members of the public.

Fire Restrictions: Fire danger across the region is rated as very high. Both Mesa County and Garfield County have Stage 1 Fire Restrictions. BLM lands within the Grand Junction Field Office are also under Stage 1 Restrictions. To learn more about fire restrictions on BLM-managed lands in western Colorado, please visit https://go.usa.gov/xfVFY.

A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place over the Pine Gulch Fire. Wildfires are a No Drone Zone. If you fly, we can’t. Whenever a drone is spotted near the fire all aircraft are grounded until we can be sure the drone is clear of the area. Drones are a real danger to aircraft in the air and firefighters on the ground. For more information, visit http://knowbeforeyoufly.org.

InciWeb: Pine Gulch Fire updates

BLM lands within the Grand Junction Field Office are currently under stage 1 fire restrictions.
Fire restrictions on BLM-managed lands in northwest Colorado

Extreme fire behavior pushes Pine Gulch Fire to 9,210 acres

111 Fire in South Canyon on north side of I-70


UPDATE: 8.5.20 at 8:30 p.m. This fire is 25% contained, and under investigation. However, Glenwood Fire reports the fire was human caused and accidental in nature.

UPDATE: 6:41 p.m. CDOT: eastbound I-70 is open at Canyon Creek and with a slow roll. One lane open westbound at I-70 exit 114, other lane closed for firefighting overnight. Traffic is moving slowly. Please stay safe. Fire crews are still working along the highway.

UPDATE: 5:15 p.m. Seven aircraft are actively working to suppress this fire. Type 1 and type 3 helicopters responded to the fire.

UPDATE 4:10 p.m.
This fire is approx 35-40 acres in size. Type 1 and type 3 helicopters are responding to this fire.

There is a pre-evacuation order in place for Ami’s Acres. I-70 closure was due to water drops going over the interstate to combat the fire.

Please note that westbound traffic from Eagle County should NOT detour into Gypsum/Cottonwood Pass Road. Cottonwood Pass Road is not recommended or accessible due to paving operations on Valley Road and utility work on Cottonwood Pass Road. Highway updates will be automatically posted to COtrip.org and on CDOT’s Twitter page.

If you live in the West Glenwood area and did not receive pre-evacuation orders, go to garco911.com and sign up for emergency communications. This is how we will contact you if your residence needs to be evacuated. Check @glenwoodspringsfiredepartment on Facebook for updates. Two Rivers Park Boat ramp was closed for active helicopter water drops occurring on the Colorado River.

City of Glenwood Springs press release on the 111 Fire.

111 Fire in South Canyon on north side of I-70

Governor Polis provides update on Colorado’s response to COVID-19 pandemic

DENVER – Gov. Polis today provided an update on Colorado’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Colorado is in a better place than some of our neighboring states but we can’t let up when it comes to social distancing, mask-wearing, and washing our hands to slow the spread of the virus,” said Governor Jared Polis. “It’s up to each and every one of us to make sure we are taking the steps to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our community during this pandemic. While it is welcomed news that cases are not increasing,  we need to have the resolve to keep it up to have them start decreasing.”

As a result of the mask-wearing order and the decision to close bars, Colorado is seeing COVID-19 cases plateau, but the governor cautioned Coloradans that the state is in a precarious position and everyone must remain vigilant and continue following social distancing requirements, wearing masks, and washing hands. 

Last week, the attorney general’s office issued a cease-and-desist letter to Live Entertainment, the company responsible for these large-scale events in Weld County. The attorney general’s office has proactively sent cease and desist orders to the organizers and promoters, Adixion Music, as well as the venue, Imperial Horse Racing Facility in Pierce, to stop these illegal events. The governor discouraged Coloradans from purchasing tickets or attending these types of events because it is better for the community and noted that ticket holders may end up being scammed out of their money when these events are shut down.

The governor announced that starting Thursday, August 6, the Colorado COVID Relief Fund will begin accepting applications for the sixth round of funding. Organizations must apply by Aug. 20 at 7:00 p.m. Eligible community-based organizations across Colorado may apply for a general operating grant of up to $25,000. New to this deadline, the Fund will also accept applications from collaborative efforts that include three or more organizations to encourage community and regional coordination. All information will be updated on www.helpcoloradonow.org on Wednesday, August 5, and Coloradans can also email helpcoloradonow@state.co.us.  To date, the fund has raised more than $22 million and distributed $16.4 million to more than 750 organizations serving Coloradans in all 64 counties. 

Governor Polis was excited to announce that after speaking with Vice President Pence over the weekend, the National Guard’s deployment has been extended until the end of the year. The Governor thanked the National Guard men and women for all their hard work to help Colorado respond to the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, the Colorado National Guard reached a testing milestone in support of the State’s ongoing COVID-19 testing across Colorado, testing 20,000 Coloradans at 122 testing sites in 28 counties and 34 cities.

Governor Polis also extended an executive order today declaring a state of disaster emergency and providing additional funds for the pandemic response. 

Governor Polis provides update on Colorado’s response to COVID-19 pandemic