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Colorado: Small wildfire reported north of Silverthorne

Firefighter start containment, investigate cause

Colorado wildfire

Firefighters work Monday, May 5 to control a small wildfire burning in northern Summit County. Photo courtesy Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue.

Staff Report

SILVERTHORNE – Summit County firefighters worked quickly into Monday evening to quash a small wildfire on a private ranch in the Lower Blue Valley.No people or structures were threatened by the five-acre blaze, which was burning in shrubs and dead-standing aspens on a hillside on the Mount Powell Ranch about 10 miles north of Silverthorne along Colorado 9.

More than 30 firefighters and other personnel responded from as far as Copper Mountain, along with law enforcement and state transportation workers, according to Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue spokesman Steve Lipsher. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Lipsher said.

The fire in the still-damp northern mountains came as much of southern Colorado was under a red flag fire danger warning. The south-central plains are also facing critical fire danger, with persistent drought and the spring windy season at hand.

“Even though it’s early in the season, we take an all-hands-on-deck approach,” said Summit County Sheriff John Minor. “We aren’t taking any chances.”

The fire was reported about 4:15 p.m., and by 7 p.m. firefighters had it about 20 percent contained and were optimistic going into nightfall that they would keep it at its current size. Light winds allowed firefighters to work on containment, but they faced some hazards such as potential falling trees and occasional torching of trees amid the single-digit relative humidity.

Although early in the season, the blaze at about 8,100 feet was not unprecedented for the area at this time of year.

“Fire season is here,” said Lake Dillon Fire Chief Dave Parmley. “We all need to begin that mindset of preparation and awareness, and don’t let the heavy snow of this past winter mislead you into thinking it’s going to be an uneventful summer when it comes to wildfire.”

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Summit County snowfall near average through December

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January snowfall in Summit County, Colorado.

2013 ended up as 2d-wettest on record for Dillon weather station

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — A quarter of the way through the 2014 water year (which started Oct. 1, 2013), snowfall and precipitation in Summit County are just about average, according to data from the two official National Weather Service observation sites.

In Breckenridge, long-time weather watcher Rick Bly measured 27.3 inches of snow in December, just a bit more than the long-term average of 22.4 inches. But the water equivalent in that snow was just 1.43 inches, slightly below the average 1.51 inches, Bly said. Continue reading

Summit County snowfall near average in November

Temps run above average, especially nighttime lows

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Winter took hold of Summit County in November.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — After going gangbusters in October, snowfall tapered off to near average in November, with about 20.1 inches if the white stuff piling up in downtown Breckenridge, where observer Rick Bly tracks daily totals for the National Weather Service. For the weather year to-date (starting Oct. 1), Bly has measured 40.6 inches of snow, about 19 percent above average.

Looking ahead, thee long-term historic average for December is 22.4 inches, and the snowiest December on record for Breckenridge wasn’t all that long ago — in 1983, Bly said he tallied 86.9 inches of snow, which remains the all-time record going back more than 100 years. Continue reading

Colorado: Reindeer lost, reindeer found

Tracking effort pays off, as police officers corral escaped critter

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Runaway no more … Photo courtesy Dillon Police Department.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Rudolf may be the most famous reindeer of all, but another one of Santa’s sled-pulling critters may become a local legend in Dillon after escaping from his corral during the town’s tree-lighting ceremony Thursday evening. Continue reading

Morning photo: Peak of summer …

July in Summit County

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Summer skies in Summit County, Colorado.

FRISCO —The deep, rich colors of summer dominate in July, when the sky seems to be fully saturated from the very early dawn right through dusk. With Dillon Reservoir brim-full during the month, I used the water as a reflective foil for the sky. I can’t decide which of these images I want to use in the 2014 Summit Voice calendar, so if you have strong feelings one way or another, feel free to leave a comment. If you like our daily snapshots, visit our online gallery at Fine Art America for more Summit County landscape and nature images. Continue reading

Morning photo: Exquisite April

Springtime in the Rockies

An April sunrise casts brilliant rays over the Continental Divide and Dillon Reservoir.

An April sunrise casts brilliant rays over the Continental Divide and Dillon Reservoir.

FRISCO —The next edition of our calendar selection set features images shot in Summit County during April. I pulled some shots from both 2012 and 2013 from the archives — what a difference! In 2012, nearly all the snow was gone by April 1 after one of the most stunning meltdowns on record. But this year, near-record snow piled up and it looked more like mid-winter than spring. But that’s the mountains for you, and we’ll take it when we can get it. One of these images will be featured in out 2014 calendar. If you like our daily snapshots, visit our online gallery at Fine Art America for more Summit County landscape and nature images. Continue reading

Morning photo: March madness

Spring begins …

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March sunset over Frisco, Colorado.

FRISCO —By the calendar, March is the first month of spring, at least after the vernal equinox. But in the Colorado high country, it’s also the month that the snow piles up deepest, leading to a bit of a seasonal paradox. Some days can be warm and sunny, and then it can turn around and snow like the dickens the next day, so never a dull moment. We’ve even seen thunder and lightning during those first spring thunderstorms. At any rate, here are a few pics, one of which will be featured on the March page of the 2013 Summit Voice calendar. If you like our daily snapshots, visit our online gallery at Fine Art America for more Summit County landscape and nature images. Continue reading

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