Steamboat briefs: Suspect identified in downtown bear shooting

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Area Wildlife Manager Jim Haskins, of the Colorado Division of Wildlife, said the agency has identified a single suspect in last week's shooting of a bear in downtown Steamboat Springs.

No arrests have been made, but Haskins said the DOW has narrowed in down to one person, whose name was not released.

"We'll have more information shortly, sometime this week," Haskins said Monday.

A 200- to 300-pound male bear was shot in the head July 20 in the alleyway parallel to Eighth and Ninth streets, between Pine and Aspen streets. The bear was going through trash in the alley. The DOW is treating the shooting as a crime. A bear can be shot legally only if the shooter is a landowner protecting livestock, acting in self defense or a licensed bear hunter.

The person who shot the bear faces "many thousands of dollars in fines," Haskins said last week, and potentially jail time.

Lightning-sparked fire extinguished near school

A Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue crew extinguished a small grass fire that began after lightning struck near the base of a hill behind Strawberry Park Elementary School at about 5 p.m. Monday.

The fire was no larger than 25 feet in diameter and was put out in about five minutes, Fire Rescue Lt. Chuck Cerasoli said.

"It's pretty green and wet out here, so it didn't move very far," he said.

Cerasoli said grass fires resulting from lightning strikes are "pretty common." He said a few such fires have occurred this summer but that they're more common north of Steamboat in drier, more open areas.

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