GCSO: Motorists from Glenwood Canyon safely in Glenwood Springs

Garfield County Sheriff’s Office

July 30, 9:15 am: Thursday evening, July 29, 2021, an active storm cell passed over Glenwood Canyon before a full closure of the canyon could be implemented. A few vehicles and their passengers were able to shelter in place within the Hanging Lake Tunnel.

Garfield County Emergency Operations was activated. A temporary shelter was set up at the Glenwood Recreation Center where Red Cross is prepared to handle incomers to that facility.

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, along with Glenwood Springs Fire and a bus from RFTA headed into the canyon to reach the twenty plus individuals that were in the tunnel. They followed CDOT crews as they made a path through two debris flow areas to reach the tunnel.

Early this morning the bus reached the tunnel and took people back to Glenwood. Several motorists drove their own vehicles out, following the bus to safety and shelter at the recreation center.

There are still multiple vehicles caught in the canyon. CDOT will be busy rescuing these vehicles and their occupants while cleaning up the debris flows. Motorists should plan on an alternative route, as this will likely be an extended closure of the I-70 corridor through Glenwood Canyon.

Please check cotrip.org for continuous updates.

Colorado Department of Transportation

GCSO: Motorists from Glenwood Canyon safely in Glenwood Springs

GCSO: Fire restrictions lifted in many areas of Garfield County

FIRE RESTRICTIONS LIFT FRIDAY, JULY 30; EXCEPT ON BLM LANDS

GARFIELD COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE – The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, the seven fire districts in Garfield County and all U.S. Forest Service lands in Garfield County are removing fire restrictions. This applies to unincorporated Garfield County, and is effective at 12:01 a.m., Friday, July 30, 2021.

Recent rains have provided some relief from the drier conditions we were experiencing, although this could change quickly. Weekly meetings are held to assess the moisture content of the fuels, current and anticipated fire danger, local available resources to fight a fire, and consistency of fire related messages across various jurisdictions in Garfield County.

Although the restrictions have been lifted, people need to be cautious when using outdoor fires including open fires, campfires, and all other situations that involve open flames in a public or private area. If you have any questions, please contact your local fire department; in some cases a burn permit may be necessary.

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank everyone for their cooperation during these fire restrictions, as well as all first responders who have worked to minimize and control fire spread when detected.

Garfield County fire restrictions

GCSO: Fire restrictions lifted in many areas of Garfield County

Garfield County fire restrictions reducing to Stage I on Friday

June 29, 2021, 2:10 p.m.

FIRE RESTRICTIONS REDUCED FROM STAGE 2 TO STAGE 1, EFFECTIVE FRIDAY JULY 2, 2021 at 12:01 AM

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and the seven fire districts in Garfield County are returning to Stage 1 Fire Restrictions effective at 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 2, 2021. This applies to unincorporated Garfield County. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service lands in Garfield County, as well as the City of Glenwood Springs, remain at Stage 2 Fire Restrictions as previously implemented.

The recent rainfall has reduced the extreme fire danger when the county moved to Stage 2 restrictions on June 25, 2021. Fire danger is still high and residents and visitors to Garfield County are required to adhere to the restrictions implemented under Stage 1 restrictions.

WHAT STAGE I FIRE RESTRICTIONS MEAN IN GARFIELD COUNTY

  • Fireworks are not allowed under Stage I fire restrictions. Professional fireworks shows may be allowed through the permitting process.
  • All burn permits are postponed/canceled until further notice.
  • Campfires are only allowed within designated fire grates in developed areas (i.e. a permanent in-ground containment structure or store bought fire pit); temporary fire pans or rock campfire rings will not be acceptable.
  • No fires of any type, including charcoal in undeveloped areas.
  • No smoking except within a designated area, enclosed vehicle or building, a developed area or in an area free of combustibles.
  • No use of fireworks or explosive materials, including “exploding” targets or bullets and tracer rounds.
  • Exercise common sense and industry safety practice when welding or operation of an acetylene or other similar torch with open flame always cleared safe area of vegetation and combustibles.

Penalties

Causing a fire during fire restrictions can be a class 6 felony and can be punishable by fines. Other possible charges include Fourth Degree Arson (M2) and Intentionally Setting a Wildfire (F3). You may be held financially responsible for damage caused.

Federal lands

The use of fireworks, flares, or other incendiary devices, including exploding targets, are always prohibited on federal lands.

By definition:

A “developed area” is an area, whether within city limits or rural, that is groomed, manicured and or watered, where grasses, brush and trees are regularly attended to by landowner.  This includes residential and business areas, improved recreational areas, parks and other common areas.

Undeveloped areas” are lands that are not groomed, manicured, or watered; where grasses, brush and trees have been allowed to grow in a natural environment. This includes green belts that are not landscaped or manicured, open space lands, non-manicured parklands, and other areas where the fire hazard presented by the vegetation is determined by the authority having jurisdiction or designee to be an undue wildland fire hazard. 

Garfield County fire restrictions reducing to Stage I on Friday

Stage 2 fire restrictions begin Friday June 25, 2021

Current Garfield County fire restrictions

STAGE 2 FIRE RESTRICTIONS BEGIN IN GARFIELD COUNTY FRIDAY JUNE 25, 2021 at 12:01 AM

Garfield County, CO, The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, BLM lands in Garfield County, Forest Service lands in Garfield and the seven Fire Districts in Garfield County are implementing Stage 2 Fire Restrictions effective at 12:01 a.m. Friday, June 25, 2021. This applies to all of unincorporated Garfield County.

This decision was made with thoughtful consideration. We look at the data as well as the potential for significant wildfires and balance it with the impacts to our community. The current active wildfires in Garfield County have already stretched our available resources and effected our ability to respond as necessary.

Fire restrictions are implemented based on specific criteria to including moisture content of vegetation, weather outlooks, human risk factors and firefighting resource availability.

With increasingly dry vegetation, severe drought conditions, and Fourth of July celebrations approaching, the danger for human caused wildfires increases even more.

WHAT STAGE 2 FIRE RESTRICTIONS MEAN IN GARFIELD COUNTY

  1. Use of fireworks – Not permitted
  2. Burn Permits (General) – No Burn Permits will be issued. All previously-issued burn permits are cancelled.
  3. Cooking Fires – Use caution and keep attended.  Cooking devices must be clean (including gas cylinder) and in proper working order.
    1. Gas Grills – No permit required. 
    2. Charcoal and other Solid Fuel Grills & Cookers – No permit required in Developed Areas only.   
    3. In Undeveloped Areas, a permit from the local fire department may be required.
  4. Smoking – Open Smoking allowed in Developed Areas
    1. In Undeveloped Areas, allowed only in an enclosed vehicle or building.
  5. Welding and Spark-emitting cutting (Hot Work) – Developed area: Use extreme caution and take preventative measures as necessary.
    1. Undeveloped area: Industrial use only. A permit from the local fire department may be required.  Must be in a cleared area at least 10 feet in diameter with a designated lookout.  Must have Class A fire extinguishing capabilities readily available.
  6. Operating of internal combustion engine-powered equipment such as Chain Saws, hand-held tools, or generators without a spark-arresting device is prohibited.   If described equipment does have a spark arresting device, you must have Class A fire extinguishing capabilities readily available, and round-point shovel (36″ length minimum) shall be readily available for use.
  7. Other internal combustion engine-powered equipment, such as tractors and mowers: Operate with extreme caution paying special attention in areas subject to extreme conditions that may be susceptible to ignition (dry weeds and grasses, etc.). 
  8. Use of explosives, explosive targets and steel or tracer bullets – Not permitted
  9. Use of firearms – Steel jacket/core bullets (Armor Piercing) and tracer bullets are expressly prohibited.  It is the responsibility of each independent range to ensure safe fire conditions at all times the range is in use.  This includes: mitigating fuels that may potentially catch fire; monitoring downrange conditions/impacts; maintaining the ability to access and rapidly extinguish fires; notifying the local fire department immediately in the event of a fire of any size. Keeping a usable fire-extinguishing application method on hand is strongly recommended. 
    1. If shooting at an unattended range – including those on public and private property – the responsibility for ensuring safe fire conditions falls on the independent shooter.

By Definition:

A “Developed Area” is an area, whether within city limits or rural, that is groomed, manicured and or watered, where grasses, brush and trees are regularly attended to by landowner.  This includes residential and business areas, improved recreational areas, parks and other common areas.

Undeveloped Areas” are lands that are not groomed, manicured, or watered; where grasses, brush and trees have been allowed to grow in a natural environment. This includes green belts that are not landscaped or manicured, open space lands, non-manicured parklands, and other areas where the fire hazard presented by the vegetation is determined by the authority having jurisdiction or designee to be an undue wildland fire hazard. 

Stage 2 fire restrictions begin Friday June 25, 2021

GCSO: Stage 1 fire restrictions begin Friday, June 18, 2021

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, Bureau of Land management (BLM) lands in Garfield County, U.S. Forest Service lands in Garfield and the seven fire districts in Garfield County are implementing Stage 1 Fire Restrictions effective at 12:01 a.m. Friday, June 18, 2021. This applies to all of unincorporated Garfield County.

This decision was made with thoughtful consideration. We look at the data as well as the potential for significant wildfires and balance it with the impacts to our community.

Our concern: With the level of fire danger we are seeing, one spark could quickly spread into a dangerous wildfire threatening lives, property and natural resources.

Fire restrictions are implemented based on specific criteria to include moisture content of vegetation, weather outlooks, human risk factors and firefighting resource availability. It has been hot, dry, and unseasonably windy. The National Weather Service is forecasting above average temperatures and dry conditions with no relief from rain anytime soon.

With increasingly dry vegetation, severe drought conditions, and July Fourth celebrations approaching, the danger for human-caused wildfires increases even more.

What Stage 1 fire restrictions mean in Garfield County

  • Fireworks are not allowed under Stage 1 fire restrictions. Professional fireworks shows may be allowed through the permitting process.
  • All burn permits are postponed/canceled until further notice.
  • Campfires are only allowed within designated fire grates in developed areas (i.e. a permanent in-ground containment structure or store bought fire pit); temporary fire pans or rock campfire rings will not be acceptable.
  • No fires of any type, including charcoal in undeveloped areas.
  • No smoking except within a designated area, enclosed vehicle or building, a developed area or in an area free of combustibles.
  • No use of fireworks or explosive materials, including “exploding” targets or bullets and tracer rounds.
  • Exercise common sense and industry safety practice when welding or operation of an acetylene or other similar torch with open flame always cleared safe area of vegetation and combustibles.

Penalties

Causing a fire during fire restrictions can be a class 6 felony and can be punishable by fines. Other possible charges include fourth-degree arson (M2) and intentionally setting a wildfire (F3). You may be held financially responsible for damage caused.

Federal lands

The use of fireworks, flares, or other incendiary devices, including exploding targets, are always prohibited on Federal lands.

By definition:

A “developed area” is an area, whether within city limits or rural, that is groomed, manicured and or watered, where grasses, brush and trees are regularly attended to by landowner.  This includes residential and business areas, improved recreational areas, parks and other common areas.

Undeveloped areas” are lands that are not groomed, manicured, or watered; where grasses, brush and trees have been allowed to grow in a natural environment. This includes green belts that are not landscaped or manicured, open space lands, non-manicured parklands, and other areas where the fire hazard presented by the vegetation is determined by the authority having jurisdiction or designee to be an undue wildland fire hazard. 

Go to the Garfield County website for more information.

GCSO: Stage 1 fire restrictions begin Friday, June 18, 2021

GCSO: Eastbound I-70 closed near New Castle following crash

UPDATE – 5:05 pm
Garfield County Emergency Operations Center: I-70 open at mile marker 105 eastbound, New Castle.

5-21-21, 10 am
Eastbound I-70 is closed due to an accident at the 107 mile marker. Eastbound traffic is being diverted onto US Highway 6 at the 105 (New Castle Exit) and will re-enter at the 109, Canyon Creek Exit.

Westbound traffic remains open but is moving slow.

Two medical helicopters are on scene to evacuate the injured. The accident occurred around 9:00 AM between a car and a semi.

Closure of Eastbound I-70 is anticipated to last several hours. Diverted travelers on US Highway 6, eastbound are asked to drive careful and not stop along the highway to view the accident clean-up operations.

Thank you for your cooperation in this incident.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

ACTUALIZACIÓN – 5:05 pm
Centro de operaciones de emergencia del condado de Garfield: I-70 abierta en la milla 105 en dirección este, New Castle.

5-21-21, 10 am
La I-70 en dirección este está cerrada entre New Castle y Glenwood Springs debido a un accidente. El tráfico en dirección este se está desviando hacia la autopista US 6 en el punto de milla 105 (salida de New Castle) y volverá a entrar en el punto de milla 109 (salida de Canyon Creek).

El tráfico en dirección oeste permanece abierto pero se mueve lento.

Se prevé que el cierre de la I-70 en dirección este durará varias horas. A los viajeros desviados en la autopista US 6, en dirección este, se les pide que conduzcan con cuidado y no se detengan a lo largo de la carretera para ver las operaciones de limpieza del accidente.

GCSO: Eastbound I-70 closed near New Castle following crash

Garfield County Sheriff’s Office temporarily closed to public

CONTACT:
Sheriff Lou Vallario
Garfield County Sheriff’s Office
107 8th Street
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
Phone: 970-945-0453 x1022
Email: lvallario@garcosheriff.com

IMPORTANT: Please direct any media requests to the contact above. Do not contact the Garfield County Emergency Communications Center or Patrol staff for media requests. 

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO. – Confirmed COVID-19 cases among inmates and staff at the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office / Detention Facility have led to the temporary closure of services to the public at our Glenwood Springs location.

As of the time of this release, 4 Detentions Staff Members and 17 inmates have tested positive.  Those inmates were all housed within the same pod/area in the jail and are now in quarantine; separate from other inmates and staff.  Of the current positive inmates, 5 are symptomatic with low grade symptoms and being cared for in-house by Correctional Health Partners.  

As far as services to the public, all normal office services such as fingerprinting, records requests, VIN inspections, etc., will still be provided at our Rifle Annex location. 

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office is working closely with the local County Health Department and the CDPHE to mitigate this outbreak.  CDHPE will be sending out their Rapid Response Team to facilitate testing of all inmates and staff members based at the Glenwood Office & Jail. 

All inquiries should go directly to Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario at the contact number or email above and not general staff. 

Garfield County Sheriff’s Office temporarily closed to public

GCSO: Be prepared for winter storm travel

Beware of winter weather, stay out of high country back roads if possible

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO. – The weather in Colorado can change rapidly and is often unforgiving. High country travel is always challenging, but for the unprepared, it can be disastrous. Recently, sheriff’s deputies were called to assist two motorists on U.S. Forest Service roads who had gotten their vehicles stuck. Four young children were also rescued. The children were not dressed for winter weather and did not have appropriate clothes for hiking through snow in freezing conditions. Fortunately, they were able to call out for help; the deputies were able to reach them before disaster struck.

With the incoming storm warnings for the weekend as well as surprise winter and spring storms that can show up suddenly and unexpectedly over the next several weeks, your best bet is to stay out of the high country.

If you decide to travel to the high country, despite warnings, understand that you are putting yourself, your friends and your families at risk.

If you are determined to go anyway, there are some basic safety tips and guidelines to follow when traveling the roads less traveled:

  1. Let someone know where you are going, when you will get to you destination or return back home. If no one knows to look for you, it may be several hours or days before someone misses you or drives by and can offer assistance.
  2. Cell phones do not always work in the backcountry where signals are poor or non-existent, you may not be able to use your phone to communicate with the outside world.
  3. Make sure your vehicle is equipped to travel and navigate on roads that are not regularly maintained.
  4. Have a full tank of gas. In extreme weather, if you are stuck somewhere you will be able to stay warm and survive until help can arrive.
  5. Remember, an idling car that is stuck in a snowbank can build up carbon monoxide (a colorless and odorless poisonous gas) within the vehicle if the exhaust system has been compromised or is blocked by snow, mud or other debris. Be alert if you or your passengers start to feel groggy or sleepy.
  6. In some cases, it could take hours to reach you, even if your approximate location is known, depending on what is going on with the weather, the time of day or night and your location.
  7. Extra clothes, coats and blankets that are dry as well as a working flashlight, a candle, water and energy bars are an absolute necessity to have in the vehicle and readily accessible. They could mean the difference in getting through a night of sub-zero temperatures or not.
  8. Stay with your vehicle if possible, in the very least it will provide shelter and is more easily found should rescuers need to be sent out.
  9. In the end, please understand that we rescue people and not vehicles.  It is up to the person that put the vehicle in a bad situation to get it out. We do not pull out vehicles nor will most towing companies travel to high country or back country roads during the winter months or in climate weather to effect a vehicle rescue.

Common sense is the rule of the day, if you are not sure of what you are doing, where you are going and you have not told anyone know of your plans, then do not go. Colorado is a beautiful state but seasonal changes in the weather can quickly spell disaster. Even experienced outdoors people have been caught off guard. Do not allow yourself or your friends and family to be the next victims of an avoidable situation.

GCSO: Be prepared for winter storm travel

Fire restrictions in Garfield County reduced to stage 1

STAGE I FIRE RESTRICTIONS BEGIN SEPTEMBER 18, 2020

Garfield County, CO – The Garfield County Sheriff, and the seven Fire Districts in Garfield County as well as BLM are moving from Stage 2 Fire Restrictions to Stage 1 Fire Restrictions effective at 12:01 a.m. Friday, September 18, 2020. This applies to all of unincorporated Garfield County.

It was announced yesterday that Forest Service Lands in Garfield County will also reduce their fire restrictions to Stage 1 at the same time.
Fire danger is still high throughout Garfield County, but the recent cooler temperatures and moisture have allowed for a re-evaluation of the restrictions. Local, county, state and federal officials in the area will continue to evaluate and coordinate fire restrictions weekly during the fire season.

WHAT STAGE I FIRE RESTRICTIONS MEAN IN GARFIELD COUNTY
• Fireworks are not allowed under Stage I Fire Restrictions. Professional fireworks shows may be allowed through the permitting process.
• All burn permits are postponed/Canceled until further notice.
• Campfires are only allowed within designated fire grates in Developed Areas (i.e. a permanent in-ground containment structure or store bought fire pit) A temporary fire pan and rock campfire rings will not be acceptable.
• No fires of any type including charcoal in Undeveloped Areas.
107 Eighth Street, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601, 970-945-0453 or 970-945-6430 (fax), www.garcosheriff.com .
• No smoking except within a designated area, enclosed vehicle or building, a developed area or in an area free of combustibles.
• No use of fireworks or explosive materials, including “exploding” targets or bullets and tracer rounds.
• Exercise common sense and industry safety practice when welding or operation of an acetylene or other similar torch with open flame always cleared safe area of vegetation and combustibles.

Penalties
Causing a fire during fire restrictions can be a class 6 felony and can be punishable by fines. Other possible charges include Fourth Degree Arson (M2) and Intentionally Setting a Wildfire (F3). You may also be held financially responsible for damage caused.

Federal lands
The use of fireworks, flares, or other incendiary devices, including exploding targets, are always prohibited on Federal lands.

By definition:
A “developed area” is an area, whether within city limits or rural, that is groomed, manicured and or watered, where grasses, brush and trees are regularly attended to by land owner. This includes residential and business areas, improved recreational areas, parks and other common areas.

“Undeveloped areas” are lands that are not groomed, manicured, or watered, where grasses, brush and trees have been allowed to grow in a natural environment. This includes green belts that are not landscaped or
manicured, open space lands, non-manicured park lands, and other areas where the fire hazard presented by the vegetation is determined by the authority having jurisdiction or designee to be an undue wildland fire hazard.

Fire restrictions in Garfield County reduced to stage 1

Grizzly Creek Fire update

Start Date: 08/10/2020     
Location: Glenwood Canyon
Cause: Human                                         
Fire Size: 32,464 acres
Containment: 91%
Total Personnel: 383

Facebook Live Community Meeting tonight at 6 p.m. Tune in to www.facebook.com/GrizzlyCreekFireCO for updates and a live Q&A with the Alaska IMT, the Type 3 Upper Colorado River Fire Management Organization, the incoming Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team, local officials and cooperating agencies.

(EAGLE, Colo.) – The Upper Colorado River Fire Type 3 Organization will assume command of the fire on Wednesday, after shadowing the Alaska Incident Management Team today. The teams are working closely with
management agencies to ensure a smooth transition as priorities shift from suppression to suppression repair.

The Type 3 Organization will be working cooperatively with the Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team. BAER Teams, composed of resource specialists, are brought in to determine the need for, prescribe and, if necessary, implement emergency treatments to stabilize burned areas and watersheds.

Containment reached 91% as the southern perimeter of the fire in Devil’s Hole Creek drainage was completed. Crews have been patrolling this section of line for days, cold-trailing and checking for heat. Temperatures are expected to peak around 50 degrees this morning as the cold front pushes in from the north, with showers beginning as early as sunrise. Temperatures are slated to fall steadily throughout the day, reaching
the 30s by early evening. Rain will turn to snow as forecast temperatures drop below freezing overnight, with accumulations from 2 to 6 inches, and higher amounts expected over 10,000 feet.

Safety Officer Mike Bradley urged firefighters to exercise caution as the freezing rain and snow will make for dangerous driving conditions around the fire. Wintry storms and the attendant slippery roads and poor visibility
are expected to continue into Wednesday and taper off.

Suppression repair continues around the fire, with excavators, dozers and hand crews working to return the fireline to a more natural state. Inclement weather is expected to slow progress.

The number of personnel working on the fire has dropped to 383. There are six crews, one helicopter, 21 engines, six excavators, five dozers, three water tenders and one skidgine still working on the fire.

Fire closure areas have been reduced by the White River National Forest and Colorado River Valley BLM office. Coffee Pot and Transfer Trail roads remain closed. Both closure orders and associated maps can be found here.

Interstate 70 remains open to two-way traffic. Go to cotrip.org for information on interstate closures.

A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) remains in place over the fire. Go to https://tfr.faa.gov for details

Fire information/media line: (970) 930-1850
Email: 2020.grizzlycreek@firenet.gov
inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6942/
https://www.facebook.com/GrizzlyCreekFireCO

Grizzly Creek Fire update