Mountain News Briefs: Crews work to thin fire fuels near Carbondale |

Mountain News Briefs: Crews work to thin fire fuels near Carbondale

Efforts to take place next week on BLM land

The Aspen Times


Work to reduce the risk of wildfire on Bureau of Land Management property near private lands will begin next week north of Carbondale.

The project is a cooperative effort between the BLM and Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District. A crew will reduce hazardous fuels on about 27 acres of BLM land west of the intersection of Garfield County roads 103 and 112, in the Crystal Springs area.

“A primary goal is to reduce the risk of a wildfire burning from public lands onto private land and threatening property in the area,” said BLM fuels specialist Ody Anderson in a BLM press release.

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The crew will reduce “ladder fuels,” which can carry a fire into the tree canopy, by thinning smaller trees and cutting limbs from larger trees to 3 to 4 feet from the ground. Dead and downed material will be cut and piled for later burning in the winter. The work is expected to continue through Aug. 20.

“Fire danger in the communities north of Carbondale has always worried me,” said Carbondale Fire Chief Ron Leach in the press release.

The work being done by the BLM is a good example for residents to follow in reducing wildfire danger on their own properties, he said.

Pitkin County votes to OK building permit extensions


Stalled home construction in unincorporated Pitkin County, apparently the result of the economic downturn, won a reprieve this week from Pitkin County.

County commissioners voted Wednesday to grant a one-time building permit extension until Aug. 31, 2011 for all building permits that have expired or will expire this year.

In May, the county tallied 19 expired permits, 11 that were due to expire by Sept. 1 and 17 others that would expire between Sept. 1 and May 1, 2011 if construction did not commence.

The county has a policy regarding reapplication for an expired permit — one that forces the applicant to pay some or all of the fees anew, plus a reapplication fee — but county commissioners agreed to take a more lenient approach, under the circumstances.

The city of Aspen is extending all permits, at the permit holder’s request, until June 30, 2011.

Vail Resorts rearranges leaders at its 5 resorts

The Associated Press


Vail Resorts is shuffling leaders at its five resorts in Colorado and California.

The company said Thursday that Keystone Resort Chief Operating Officer Doug Lovell was named vice president and chief operating officer of Beaver Creek Resort, where he previously was director of mountain operations.

Breckenridge Resort director of skier services John Buhler was named vice president and general manager of Keystone. Vail ski and snowboard school director Pete Sonntag was named vice president and general manager of Heavenly Mountain Resort.

Vail Resorts mountain division co-presidents John Garnsey and Blaise Carrig once had more direct responsibility for individual resorts but now have more strategic responsibilities.

Summit Daily News

CSP: Man who died in crash ‘traveling too fast’


A man died on eastbound Interstate 70 on Wednesday evening after his 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix lost control and hit a large metal pole.

John Matthew Popick, 53, of Grand Junction, died on the scene. The cause of the crash was “driving too fast for conditions,” according to Colorado State Patrol.

The death was caused by blunt force trauma, according to Summit County Coroner’s Office.

“The vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed in rainy, wet conditions,” according to an e-mail from the coroner’s office.

Popick was wearing a setbelt, and drugs and alcohol were not suspected in the incident, according to CSP.

Rescuers extract injured hiker in overnight mission


Summit County Rescue Group carried an injured hiker out of the wilderness at the north end of the county Thursday afternoon, concluding an overnight effort involving about 20 group members.

The 78-year-old hiker was with his 45-year-old son on their annual trip to a lake in the Gore Range (in the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area), about 5 miles south of Elliot Ridge, said SCRG spokesman Jim Koegel.

“In the area of the lake, the older gentleman slipped on a log and cut himself on a branch to the point where he couldn’t walk,” Koegel said.

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