Craig briefs: Prescribed area burn runs through Thursday

The Blanco Ranger District of the White River National Forest plans to conduct a prescribed burn in the Aldrich Lakes area. The burn started Sunday and will continue through Thursday, according to a news release.

Smoke from the operations may be visible from areas near Meeker and Craig. 

The 1,200-acre prescribed fire site is located approximately 19 miles northeast of Meeker and 19 miles south of Craig on National Forest System lands and adjacent private lands in Rio Blanco County. Officials expect the burn to be completed in one to four days.

Crews began hand ignition Sunday, followed by aerial ignition today. Dates will depend on the weather and availability of the required prescribed fire resources to safely and efficiently accomplish the operations.

Prescribed fire improves wildlife habitat on the site by stimulating new and more nutritious plant production in the burned area. The fire is expected to leave a patchwork of burned and unburned areas, providing wildlife with better forage, while leaving enough vegetation to provide cover. Past suppression efforts have kept fire from this area for a number of years, resulting in a large buildup of fuels. This burn will target Gambel oak and mountain shrub species to decrease the fuel load in the area and reduce wildfire potential.

“The ultimate goal is to provide the best habitat conditions for wildlife,” Area Wildlife Manager Bill de Vergie, of Meeker, said in a statement. “The Forest Service has made attempts to work around the hunting seasons, but we understand that this may affect some hunters. We remind everyone that although it might be an inconvenience now, the long- term benefits include healthier wildlife, and better hunting in the future.”

Most of the smoke is expected to dissipate during the day; however, some smoke may remain in valley bottoms and drainages as temperatures fall in the evening. Impacts of this smoke and associated potential health risks may be found at

The prescribed fire is in partnership with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, local Craig and Meeker chapters of the Habitat Partnership Program, and private land owners.

For more information, call the Blanco Ranger District at 970-878-4039.

Newspaper changes delivery for rural routes

The Craig Daily Press has been moving toward putting all rural subscribers onto postal routes for reliability, safety for carriers and cost effectiveness.

Last week, an emergency loss of a carrier made it imperative that the paper move the home delivered rural subscribers north and east of Craig to that postal route immediately.

We hope all customers are happy with this move and apologize for the suddenness of it. Those with concerns about this move, can call Circulation Manager Gary Cole at 970-824-2600. Thank you for your continued patronage and subscriptions.

VNA hosts free drop-in screening Wednesday

The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association is recognizing World Heart Day with free drop-in cardiovascular and diabetes screenings from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Craig VNA, 745 Russell St., according to a news release.

Screenings include BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol panel, blood glucose and personalized education. Screenings also are available by appointment. Call 970-871-7696.

Applications available for artisans market

The 2015 Holiday Artisans Market is set for Dec. 4 and 5. Artisans from Northwest Colorado are encouraged to apply for space at the event. Deadline for applications is Oct. 23. For more information and to request the online application, send an email to

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