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Environmental groups join legal fray over Fort Collins fracking ban

Oil and gas drilling near schools and homes in Firestone, Colorado. Photo courtesy Shane Davis, Sierra Club, Rocky Mountain Chapter.

Oil and gas drilling near schools and homes in Firestone, Colorado. Photo courtesy Shane Davis, Sierra Club, Rocky Mountain Chapter.

Grassroots activists stand up to industry ‘bullying’

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Fort Collins residents who passed a temporary five-year fracking ban last year will get some help in their legal showdown with the fossil fuel industry.

A trio of from from environmental groups — Citizens for a Healthy Fort Collins, the Sierra Club and Earthworks filed a motion to intervene in the Colorado Oil and Gas Association’s lawsuit against the City of Fort Collins.

The Association is trying to overturn a five year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking.”  The Fort Collins moratorium on fracking passed as Ballot Measure 2A with 56 percent of the vote in November 2013. Continue reading

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Colorado: First major wildfire erupts near Fort Collins

Are earlier wildfires part of a new climate norm?

SUMMIT COUNTY — As drought conditions persist in Colorado, the trend toward earlier wildfires continues, with the 1,000-acre Galena Fire threatening homes and requiring the evacuation of at least 50 people near Fort Collins.

News outlets and emergency service agencies are streaming information, photos and links about the fire at the #galenafire hashtag. The latest information from Larimer County is at: http://larimersheriff.org/press-release/galena-fire.

The was first reported by Larimer County Emergency Information at about 1 p.m. on Friday, March 15. The fire is burning near Horsetooth Reservoir, not too far from the edge of last summer’s High Park Fire. The Galena Fire initially threatened the visitor center at Lory State Park.

Larimer County officials said Saturday morning they believe the fire was human-caused and estimated its size between 750 and 1,000 acres. They are expecting additional ground crews and a Type 2 helicopter to help fight the fire during the weekend.

Firefighters reported calmer conditions by late in the evening, but expressed concerns about the potential for gusty winds associated with an incoming weather system. That approaching storm may also deliver some showers and higher humidity to help firefighters get the upper hand on the blaze.

Last year in March, a prescribed fire managed by the Colorado State Forest Service grew out of control in Jefferson County. The Lower North Fork Fire ultimately spread across thousands of acres, destroying homes and killing two peoople.

Summit County also saw a March wildfire last year along Montezuma Road, with firefighters standing on roadside snow berms while battling flames in the adjacent forest. In January, forecasters had to issue an almost unprecedented red flag warning for parts of the Rocky Mountain foothills.

Colorado: Fort Collins moves closer to fracking ban

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SkyTruth created this map with 2008 data, showing the general location of oil and gas drilling activities in Colorado.

Town seeks to protect health and well-being of residents; critics say local bans violate state law

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Creating yet another headache for Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s pro-fracking administration, Fort Collins this week voted to ban oil and gas exploration — including hydraulic fracturing — within city limits.

The 5-2 city council vote came after a several hours of citizen testimony, with a large majority of residents apparently in favor of a drilling ban. To become final, the ordinance must be passed by another vote in a few weeks.

Arguments over the ban remain the same. Supporters of the ban say the industrial processes associated with fossil fuel development don’t belong anywhere near residential areas, and the chemicals and air pollution associated with drilling pose a significant health risk. Continue reading

Colorado: Wildfire burning in Larimer County

  1. SUMMIT COUNTY — Firefighters are trying to get the jump on the Hewlett wildfire in Poudre Canyon, reported at 100 acres Monday afternoon. According to Inciweb, the fire is burning in open timber, brush and grass in rugged terrain.Three 20-person crews, a Type 1 helicopter, and a heavy air tanker have been ordered. Structures are located near the fire, but none are immediately threatened.
  2. schneidan
    Another Colorado summer: MT @CodyCrouch: We’re over #HewlettFire. Not seeing any structures threatened yet. http://twitpic.com/9l4sgg
    Mon, May 14 2012 17:51:45
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