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US Forest Service

With temperatures soaring across western Colorado and eastern Utah and summer monsoons not yet in sight, fire restrictions have gone into effect across many jurisdictions. On Monday, the Montezuma County commissioners imposed a fire ban generally prohibiting open fires and fireworks in unincorporated areas of the county. Beginning July 1st, Mesa Verde National Park will ban open fires, including in Morefield Campground and the Chapin Mesa picnic area. Stage 1 fire restrictions, the strictest, have already been implemented on the Navajo Nation.

Health care and the Sage Hen recreational area were among the topics of a wide-ranging discussion Monday between the Montezuma County commissioners and a representative for Colorado Senator Cory Gardner.

Austin Cope / KSJD

A capital campaign to fund the construction of a new homeless shelter in Cortez is off to a promising start. The Bridge Emergency Shelter, which is being forced to leave its longtime home in the old Justice Building, had announced a challenge grant to raise $20,000 in matching funds by July 1st. In three weeks, more than 50 different individuals and businesses contributed over $60,000. Now, two other donors have pledged $10,000 each for another challenge that will continue through July 31st, or until $80,000 is reached.

Fredlyfish4 / Creative Commons

UPDATE, 6/26/17, 1:45pm: The Forest Service says trail and road closures are subject to change depending on size of the fire. The Colorado Trail remains open at this time.

 

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Photo credit: Faith Coyote

Crews quickly contained a small brush fire near the Ute Mountain Casino late Wednesday afternoon.

According to Ute Mountain Fire Chief John Trocheck, the fire started around 4:30pm in a field. Crews from the Ute Tribe, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Cortez fully contained the blaze within 30 to 45 minutes with the help of a water truck from Cortez and a BIA helicopter. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

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