Austin Cope

Small businesses impacted by the May 8th Western Excelsior Plant fire in Mancos are now eligible for low-interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. On Friday, the SBA announced it had issued a disaster declaration, following a request from Governor John Hickenlooper. The declaration means SBA assistance is available in Montezuma, Dolores, La Plata, and San Juan counties in Colorado; Apache County in Arizona; San Juan County in New Mexico; and San Juan County in Utah.

Austin Cope / KSJD

The economic impacts of the fire that gutted the Western Excelsior Plant in Mancos in May are only just beginning to be felt.

US Forest Service

The East Rim Fire on public lands 10 miles northeast of Dove Creek had grown to 689 acres as of Monday and was about 25 percent contained. Officials with the Bureau of Land Management report efforts to battle the lightning-sparked blaze have been scaled back because fire weather has moderated. While 77 people were assigned to the fire on a single day previously, on Monday there were only 28.

Howstuffworks / Creative Commons

The grand finale of the Fourth of July fireworks show in Cortez was interrupted for  15 minutes Tuesday night after the fireworks trailer caught fire. Cortez Assistant Fire Chief Shawn Bittle tells KSJD a charge detonated too close to the ground and ignited part of the trailer. The show’s organizer, Keenan Ertel, immediately cut power to the fireworks’ electronic ignition system to allow firefighters on scene to extinguish the blaze, which did not injure anyone or spread beyond the trailer. The show resumed after crews finished safety checks.

US Air Force / Creative Commons

With the Lightner Creek Fire west of Durango just 20 percent contained as of Friday morning, city officials have canceled Durango’s annual Fourth of July fireworks display. The Durango Herald reports the cancellation was because of dangerous fire conditions and the fact that resources are stretched thin. The Lightner Creek Fire was about 360 acres in size Friday morning and a type II incident command team had taken control of the blaze. Meanwhile, crews with the San Juan National Forest continued to monitor a lightning-sparked fire in the Ryman Creek area south of Rico.