Holiday weekend mostly incident-free


— Local emergency responders credit wet conditions and a strict state law for a safe Fourth of July holiday weekend in Routt County.

Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue spokeswoman Deb Funston said there were no fires or ambulance calls caused by fireworks over the weekend.

"It sounds like it was a fairly quiet weekend," she said. "I think the rain and the moisture definitely helped."

Even in the absence of fireworks-caused damage or injuries, police and emergency responders stayed busy over the weekend responding to several fights and a structure fire.

Emergency responders were called to a small house fire at 4:40 a.m. Sunday on Colorado Highway 131 near Lake Catamount. Funston said the owner put out the fire before firefighters arrived. There were no injuries, and the incident is under investigation.

Alcohol played a role in several holiday weekend incidents.

From Friday to Sunday, six people were arrested in Routt County on suspicion of driving while ability impaired or driving under the influence. Steamboat Springs Police Department officers made two of the arrests for DWAI and one for DUI, and Routt County Sheriff's Office deputies made three arrests for DUI.

Several fights also were reported over the weekend, primarily in downtown Steamboat Springs.

On Saturday morning, a fight was reported at 2:25 a.m. in the 400 block of Lincoln Avenue, and the fighting parties were separated.

Saturday night, police were called to a report of a juvenile with alcohol at 10:30 p.m. A minor was given a ticket. At 10:41 p.m., a fight was reported at the Howelsen Hill beach volleyball courts. No more information was immediately available.

At 11:39 p.m. Saturday, police were called to a report of a group of juveniles shooting off fireworks and drinking alcohol. Police seized the fireworks, and the teens were given tickets for minors in possession of alcohol.

Early Sunday morning, police were called to two downtown fights, one at 1:33 a.m. in the 600 block of Yampa Street, where officers arrested a 26-year-old Fort Collins man on suspicion of harassment and third-degree assault. Another fight was reported at 2:01 a.m. at Lincoln Avenue and Eighth Street, along with a disturbance at 2:29 a.m. at Lincoln Avenue and Third Street, where officers arrested a 23-year-old Steamboat man on an outstanding warrant.

Quiet across the county

Hayden Police Department Chief Ray Birch said the weekend was quiet in Hayden, with only one summons issued for possession of illegal fireworks.

Birch said officers distributed fliers with the fireworks code throughout the day wherever police saw groups of people gathered at block parties or cookouts.

"It was very quiet, very manageable," Birch said. "There were no issues, just standard calls."

North Routt Fire Chief Bob Reilley said emergency responders were called to one lightning-struck tree on U.S. Forest Service land in the Seedhouse Road area. The fire was contained to a single tree.

Reilley said there were no fires blamed on fireworks, and everything else remained quiet.

"Most people are starting to pay attention to state statutes more than in years past," he said.


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