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Morning photo: Forest light

Sun and shadow …

kj

The first few rays of sun shine into the dark reaches of the Snake River Canyon.

FRISCO — I headed up to the Snake River between Keystone and Montezuma again Thursday morning for a quick photo session, once again trying to find the perfect balance between the bright light on the snow and the cool blue shadows of the forest. It’s not an easy thing to photograph — what the eye takes in, the lens has a hard time capturing. I’ve found that it’s best to look for the half-light, in between the full sun and the shadows, where the blues are partially displaced by the warmer hues of the rising sun, or to go for the strong contrast, like sunlit trees against a dark forest or a shadow background. When I first started shooting and processing these images, I was always tempted to lighten up the shadows, but even with Photoshop, it just doesn’t look right. In this set, I decided to go with the deep blues, which add an element of mystery.

Many of the photos in Summit Voice photo essays are available in our Fine Art America online gallery, and there’s also Summit County gallery at our ImageKind website. You can also order images by contacting me at bberwyn@comcast.net. It’s a great way to support independent online journalism. Continue reading

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Colorado: West Slope firefighting resources are stretched

Summit County’s fire departments fully staffed

Summit County firefighters extinguish a small wildfire between Keystone and Montezuma late March, 2012 while standing on a berm of snow, a testament to this year’s unusual fire conditions in Colorado and around the West. Photo by Bob Berwyn.

Fire danger in Summit County is between very high and extreme.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Even with firefighting crews and equipment pouring in from around the country, incident managers at major fires in Colorado are scrambling to find the resources needed to tackle new fires as they start.

“It’s safe to say we’re a little thin on the West Slope right now,” said Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue deputy chief Jeff Berino, discussing how, in his role as a regional incident commander, he’s been studying the best way to deploy firefighters to specific incidents while keeping enough personnel in reserve to respond to new calls. Continue reading

Pedestrian killed along Highway 6 at Keystone

Jack-knifed truck shuts down I-70 Sunday evening

A dangerous intersection in Keystone was the scene of deadly accident early Sunday.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — It was a bad weekend on the roads of Summit County. Early Sunday morning, the coroner’s office was called to the scene of an accident in Keystone, where apedestrian was killed on Highway 6, at a junction that resort residents have long identified as an accident waiting to happen.

The Summit County Coroner’s Office reported that 33-year-old Mircea Vasaram was hit by a Subaru Outback. The car was traveling westbound on Hwy 6 when it hit Vasaram on the northeast corner of the intersection.

He was transported by air to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Lakewood where he succumbed to his injuries.  An autopsy has been ordered and will be performed mid-week. He was visiting friends in Denver and they were up skiing for the day. The coroner’s office will not release information on the driver as the case is still being investigated by the Colorado State Patrol.

Sunday evening, eastboumd I-70 was closed for several hours after a truck jack-knifed near the Eisenhower Tunnel.

Summit County to host annual travel blogger confab

Keystone' River Run Village during the 2010 Beer and Bluegrass festival.

TBEX’12 to bring hundreds of travel bloggers to Keystone, Colorado 

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Keystone, Colorado has been picked as the site for next year’s TBEX (June 15-17), the biggest annual roundup for an influential crowd of online and social media-savvy writers and travel bloggers.

According to a press release from Vail Resorts, the conference will generate significant buzz and revenue, as well as promote Colorado’s Rocky Mountains as an exceptional destination and the perfect spot for online and offline adventures.

The annual Travel Blog Exchange meet-up brings together wanderers and explorers whose diverse interests and travels fuel the most popular travel blogs in the world. Continue reading

Summit County: Mudslide hits housing complex at Keystone

Super-saturated soils and heavy runoff are factors in recent slide in an area known for unstable slopes

Mud flows on June 2 ran up against the wall of a Keystone Resort employee housing complex. More photos at the end of the story.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — A large mudslide on Keystone Mountain inundated an employee housing complex near the Mountain House base area, damaging several exterior decks and walkways and covering several hundred feet of a road with mud a couple of feet deep.

The mudslide happened June 2, the same day the Keystone Gulch wildfire started, according to Keystone spokesman Ryan Whaley. Since then, crews have cleared the road and there are no impacts to summer operations at the resort. Whaley said the employee housing units were not occupied. There may be some water damage inside of some of the units, but the extent hasn’t been determined yet. The mud piled up to just below the windows of the units on the lower level. Continue reading

Colorado: Keystone Gulch Fire 30 percent contained

A Google map screen shot of the Keystone Gulch area, where a small wildfire has burned within a 16.6-acre footprint near the junction of Soda Ridge Road and Keystone Gulch Road.

75 firefighters mopping up hotspots on steep terrain with helicopter support; smoky skies due to large fires in southern Colorado and Arizona

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Gulch Fire, burning at Keystone, Colorado, has stayed within its 16.6-acre footprint the past 24 hours, and firefighters said early Saturday afternoon that the fire is about 30 percent contained. They expect full containment by Sunday afternoon.

About 75 firefighters are still on-scene, working on steep, cliff-ridden hillsides just west of Keystone Ski Area to douse hot spots.

Fire officials are asking the public to avoid Keystone Gulch Road this weekend due to firefighting activity in the area. Smoke seen in the local community is rom large fires currently burning in the southwest. More info on regional and nation fires at http://www.inciweb.org/. Continue reading

Summit County: Evacuation order lifted at Keystone fire

Type 3 incident management team will mop up the fire Friday

Driven by high winds, a wildfire in Keystone, Colorado runs up a steep hillside in Keystone Gulch. PHOTO COURTESY STEVE LIPSHER, LAKE DILLON FIRE-RESCUE.

Smoke blowing uphill in Keystone Gulch.

By Bob Berwyn

Follow on Twitter or Facebook for updates.

SUMMIT COUNTY — Flames from a wind-driven wildfire Thursday (June 2) at Keystone burned to within 150 feet of homes near the mouth of Keystone Gulch, where about 20 residences were evacuated, according to Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue.

Soda Ridge Road was re-opened about 9 p.m. and residents were expected to return to their homes Thursday night, said Steve Lipsher, spokesman for Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue. Some residents left without power because of blown transformer were offered free rooms at Keystone Resort for the night.

Lipsher said firefighters prioritized structure protection in the early stages of the attack at the risk of losing a few more acres of forest to the flames — a strategy that paid off in a big way.

“Those homes were definitely imperiled,” he said.

The fire will be turned over to a Type 3 incident management team first thing Friday morning. Lipsher said a helicopter has been requested in case the fire flares up Friday morning.

The fire may have started around some slash piles at the mouth of Keystone Gulch. Winds of up to 40 mph quickly drove the blaze up the steep hillside where it burned in live and dead lodgepole pine stands and amid cliffs. Given the terrain, Lipsher estimated it could take four days to finish mopping up the hot spots.

The fire hazard was rated as low this morning, but the strong, gusty winds and low relative humidity have upped the risk of the fire moving quickly into standing dead forests and dead grasses recently uncovered under melting snow.

According to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office,  the evacuations  affected residents along Soda Ridge Rd. and East to Wild Irishman Rd. including the homes located along Wild Irishman Rd.  A shelter was set up at the Keystone Lodge Convention Center.  An update will be provided at 8 p.m.

Smoke and flames at the Keystone Gulch wildfire Thursday afternoon. PHOTO COURTESY STEVE LIPSHER, LAKE DILLON FIRE-RESCUE.

Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue Deputy Chief Jeff Berino helps coordinate the response at the June 2 Keystone Gulch Fire. PHOTO COURTESY STEVE LIPSHER, LAKE DILLON FIRE-RESCUE.

Smoke from the fire at Keystone Gulch is visible from Landfill Road, in Summit County, Colorado.

A small wildfire is burning near the mouth of Keystone Gulch, in the center of the picture, where Keystone Gulch Road runs down to the southwest.

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