Headlines October 23, 2020

Headlines October 23, 2020

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Lefthand Canyon Fire Fully Contained, Cal-Wood Fire Sees Minimal Growth

The Lefthand canyon fire in Boulder County is now 100% contained. Late Thursday local officials announced that the fire was still at 460 acres but was under complete containment.

The Cal-Wood fire is at more than 10,000 acres and is 55% contained. Several evacuation orders were lifted yesterday and US Highway 36 was reopened between Lyons and Boulder.

East Troublesome Fire Crosses Continental Divide Prompting Evacuation from Estes Park

Some firefighting resources from the two Boulder County fires may be redirected to the East Troublesome fire which originated in Grand County.

The fire exploded on Wednesday and is now more than 170,000 acres. It crossed the Continental Divide Thursday leading to the closure of the Rocky Mountain National Park and mandatory evacuation orders for parts of Estes Park.

Thousands of people have been evacuated as a result of the fire which grew at a rate of 6000 acres per hour driven by strong winds.

The East Troublesome fire is now the second-largest wildfire in Colorado history. Meanwhile, the largest wildfire in Colorado history, the Cameron Peak fire, continues to burn east of Estes Park. That fire is nearly 207,000 acres and is 57% contained. Some evacuation orders were lifted for the Cameron Peak fire on Thursday. Smoke from all the fires is contributing to ongoing bad air quality around the Front Range.

Attorneys for CSU Student Call For Hate Crime Charges

Attorneys for a Colorado State University football player, who was held at gunpoint by a Loveland resident, are asking a judge to force prosecutors to file hate crime charges.

The Denver Post reports that Scott Gudmundsen is accused of holding the football player, Barry Wesley, and another man at gunpoint on June 11 while the two students were canvassing a neighborhood for a roofing company. Gudmundsen faces charges of felony menacing, impersonating a police officer, prohibited use of a firearm, and false imprisonment.

According to Gudmundsen’s arrest affidavit, he is accused of kneeling on Wesley’s neck and pushing a gun into the student’s back.

The motion filed Wednesday argues that the Eighth Judicial District Attorney’s Office should file a bias-motivated crime charge against Gudmundsen, who is white, because of comments he made and his connections to a group called Soldiers of Valhalla Shooting Club.

The district attorney’s office, which covers Larimer and Jackson counties, felt that there was not enough evidence to support a hate crime charge.

Wesley’s attorneys are asking a judge to call the prosecutor to court and force them to explain their reasoning for not filing charges. A judge can then force a prosecutor to file charges If the judge finds the prosecutor’s reasons unacceptable.

CU Boulder Cancels Spring Break for 2021

The University of Colorado in Boulder announced yesterday that the spring 2021 semester would go ahead in a similar model to the current semester where students will have a mixture of in-person, remote and hybrid courses. Spring break is canceled however and instead, the semester will start on Thursday, Jan. 14, three days later than previously planned, with two days off for students on Feb. 17 and March 25.