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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Another Colorado summer: MT @CodyCrouch: We’re over #HewlettFire. Not seeing any structures threatened yet. http://twitpic.com/9l4sgg