Headlines October 28, 2020
Resources Pulled from Cal-Wood Fire
Officials said yesterday that they have pulled some resources off the Cal-Wood Fire in Boulder County. The fire has experienced “minimal growth” with up to 14 inches of snow blanketing the area in places.
The Daily Camera reports that crews are on patrol status, and as of yesterday they were going to monitor the fire from a distance.
On Tuesday afternoon the fire remained at 76% containment and 10,105 acres. Some of the resources fighting the wildfires will be moved to other locations in the state.
The cause of the Cal-Wood Fire, the largest in Boulder County’s history, remains under investigation, as is that of the Lefthand Canyon Fire which is fully contained.
Cameron Peak and East Troublesome Fire Fights Aren’t Over
The snow also benefited crews on the Cameron Peak Fire and the eastern portion of the East Troublesome fire, but the Coloradoan reports the fight isn’t over.
On Monday, Glen Lewis, a fire behavior analyst, said that for the fire to really go out, it’s going to need more moisture on it, and it will need to stay cold for an extended period of time so the moisture can soak into the fuels.
The Cameron Peak Fire is at 64% containment.
Denver Returns to More Restrictions to Fight COVID-19
Yesterday the city of Denver moved to the second highest level of COVID-19 restrictions in an effort to curb the growth of the virus and avoid overwhelming hospitals. Most businesses will be allowed to operate at only a quarter of their capacity with a maximum of 50 people.
Mayor Michael Hancock announced that the state health department had asked the city to tighten its restrictions after weeks of climbing coronavirus cases and rising hospitalizations.
The Denver Post reports that Denver Public Schools announced that many of the district’s elementary students will go back to remote learning after they had just returned to their classrooms.
According to Chalkbeat Colorado, students in third through fifth grades will return to online learning beginning Monday and attend classes virtually through the end of November.
Hancock said that he does not believe that Denver is failing, but claims the resurgence on the lack of a national strategy to contain the virus.
State and public health officials repeated warnings Tuesday that Colorado’s hospitals are under pressure, and the number of patients could exceed available beds by the end of the year.
Governor Jared Polis said that if we don’t do better in the state, many more Coloradans will die unnecessarily.
On Monday, 98 people were hospitalized in Denver, which is more than twice the number at the start of the month. Seventy-seven percent of intensive-care beds were occupied.
Boulder County recorded 35 new coronavirus cases Tuesday, and the University of Colorado Boulder counted eight.
Broomfield Withdraws from Greenway Over Soil Test Concerns
Last night the Broomfield City Council unanimously voted to withdraw their participation from the Rocky Mountain Greenway which would link the city to Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge and into Boulder County.
However, the council held a study session last month to review soil test samples, and there were numerous concerns about the level of plutonium and other issues related to Rocky Flats.
The proposed Greenway trail is 80 miles long from the Rocky Mountain Arsenal northeast of Denver all the way to Rocky Mountain National Park through Rocky Flats.
The council’s action last night means that Broomfield will not allow the trail to cross at Indian Street and the city will not move forward with a connection on its Great Western Open Space. Further, the City will not provide more than $100,000 dollars in funding for the project.
The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center issued a release soon after the council’s action saying they commend the Broomfield City Council for their courage and leadership in this important step towards preventing public recreation on Rocky Flats.
Boulder Valley School Board Supports Removal of SROs
On Tuesday, a majority of the Boulder Valley school board indicated their support for a resolution to remove police officers from schools. In addition, the board supports creating options to ensure safety and improve discipline practices.
The Daily Camera reports that the move is based on concerns that students of color are more likely to be ticketed, arrested, suspended or expelled.
All but one board member, Donna Miers, indicated support for the resolution. Miers said her experience working with students with intensive needs showed her that police assistance is sometimes needed. She said she would rather see the district improve training for both SROs and staff members.
The board is expected to vote on the resolution at its Nov. 10 meeting.
Environmental Groups Sue Over Ousted BLM Leader
The Sierra Club and other environmental groups filed a lawsuit yesterday asking a judge to overturn land-use plans in southwestern Colorado made while a Trump administration official was unlawfully at the helm of the Bureau of Land Management.
The Associated Press reports that William Pendley was ordered to be removed from the land bureau’s top position after Montana Gov. Steve Bullock sued the administration because Pendley had never been confirmed by the Senate.
The BLM’s plan for the Uncompahgre region of Colorado would open new lands to oil and gas development. Opponents contend the administration approved it without adequate consideration given to climate change, an imperiled species and other environmental issues.
A spokesperson for the agency said in a statement that the environmental groups were trying to impose their radical agenda on the hard-working people of Colorado, and were negatively impacting recreation access, conservation and energy development.