The U.S. Forest Service estimates almost 5,000 people are in the Routt National Forest for the annual Rainbow gathering, which starts Saturday.
It is also estimated that up to 20,000 will attend the gathering, which is near Big Red Park about 35 miles north of Steamboat.
About 250 citations have been issued to Rainbow Family members since officers began citing the members for not having a special-use permit, Forest Service spokeswoman Denise Ottaviano said.
Ottaviano also said officers used pepper spray and nightclubs Monday to clear a large group of Rainbow Family members who surrounded them.
Ottaviano said one Rainbow Family member was arrested in the incident, although she did not know the person's name or what he or she was charged with. Ottaviano said three Forest Service officers sustained minor injuries in the confrontation.
Ottaviano said the incident began at about 5 p.m. as 15 Forest Service officers walked through the gathering. Ottaviano said the officers were attempting to contact group members about growing fire concerns when a group of more than 100 Rainbow participants surrounded the officers. Some of the officers were shoved by family members, she said.
Ottaviano said no Rainbow Family members were injured in the incident.
Forest Service officers have been accused of undue violence, as well. Marie Jensen, 50, a former child advocacy lawyer and current Steamboat Springs resident, said she witnessed an "extremely disturbing incident" on her way to visit the Rainbow gathering at about 10 a.m. Saturday morning.
Jensen said as she drove up to a Forest Service roadblock near the gathering site, a young woman, likely a Rainbow participant, was sitting cross-legged on the side of the road, with her hands behind her head and fingers interlaced. Jensen said a female Forest Service officer picked the young woman up by the belt loop and shirt collar, then "physically threw her into the ground, face-first."
"It was the most awful thing I've ever seen," Jensen said. "I couldn't believe this Forest Service lady was throwing this girl around. The officer was using unreasonable force in response to the situation -- it was way over the top. There was no eminent danger; there was nothing threatening."
Forest Service spokeswoman Diann Ritschard said Tuesday that she had "not heard one word" about the incident, and "had no idea" whether it happened.
Ottaviano said Forest Service officials will continue to patrol the camps and enforce fire bans.
Officers are "intermittently" manning a checkpoint at the entrance to the Rainbow gathering near Forest Service roads 500 and 550. Officers will continue to advise those who pass through the checkpoint that the gathering is illegal because the Rainbow Family's special-use permit was denied last week.
-- Reporter Mike Lawrence
contributed to this report.