The Routt County Sheriff’s Office thinks fireworks started the Aug. 17 wildfire in Hayden that burned 1,225 acres.
Undersheriff Ray Birch wrote in an email Wednesday that the incident still is under investigation, but they are viewing it as a felony arson case.
The fire was called in by a person who said it started in the grass along Routt County Road 76 about 2 miles from Hayden. Within 20 meters of the origin of the fire, Birch said investigators found three spent Roman candle fireworks.
Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call Detective Tom Munden at 970-870-5503. People also can call Routt County Crime Stoppers at 970-870-6226. Callers can remain anonymous.
Several structures and homes were threatened but none were damaged in the fire that quickly burned through grass and brush.
North Routt, Oak Creek, Yampa, Craig and Bureau of Land Management firefighters came to help in addition to an official from the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control. Two aircraft were brought in to drop retardant, and another was assigned to monitor the fire, which was the largest Routt County has seen in several years.
Routt County is responsible for paying to fight wildfires, and it will be reimbursing some of the agencies for their help. Routt County Emergency Management Director Bob Struble said the cost estimate for the aerial support is $28,000, but the cost of the first retardant drop should be reimbursed by the state. Struble estimated the other Routt County fire departments will charge a total of $10,000 to $15,000.
Coffee and a Newspaper event set for Wednesday
The Steamboat Pilot & Today’s monthly Coffee and a Newspaper gathering returns from 7 to 9 a.m. Wednesday at 1901 Curve Plaza. Diane Moore, executive director of Advocates Building Peaceful Communities, will discuss domestic violence issues along with reporter Matt Stensland, who recently wrote about the rate of lethal domestic violence in Routt County.
Members of the newspaper’s management team — including Publisher Suzanne Schlicht, Editor Lisa Schlichtman and Assistant Editor Nicole Miller — also will attend. There will be free coffee and pastries for those who attend.
Steamboat Stage Race looking for volunteers
The fifth annual Steamboat Springs Stage Race is in need of volunteers Saturday, Sunday and Monday for positions including course marshaling and feed zones. All volunteers will receive a T-shirt, lunch and an invitation to multiple volunteer parties. For more information or to sign up, email email@example.com.
Local resident graduates from Salisbury University
Elizabeth Wasserman, of Steamboat Springs, recently graduated from Salisbury University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, according to a news release.
Steamboat man collecting materials to send to Africa
Steamboat Springs resident Mamadou Niass is collecting goods to send to his relatives and neighbors in his home village of Sorimiale in Mauritania. Niass is looking for donations of clothing, shoes, electronics, mattresses, bikes and more. He plans to send the items to Africa in a shipping container in mid-September. For more information, call Niass at 970-819-3027.
School supply drive will benefit schools in county
Colorado Student Care will host a school supplies drive from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Monday in front of Walmart, 1805 Central Park Drive. The organization also is accepting monetary donations to purchase backpacks.
Supplies and backpacks will benefit elementary and middle school students at Steamboat Springs, Hayden and South Routt schools as well as North Routt Community Charter School in Clark. Call 970-870-1733 for more information.
Foidel Canyon Schoolhouse gathering slated for Sunday
A Foidel Canyon Schoolhouse gathering is at 5 p.m. Sunday at the school. During the gathering, a painting of the schoolhouse will be presented to the Historical Society of Oak Creek and Phippsburg. Those who would like to attend are asked to register by Friday to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep Emerald a Gem bike, running race set for Sept. 7
The second annual Keep Emerald a Gem mountain bike and running race is at 9 a.m. Sept. 7 at Emerald Mountain.
The event features a 13-mile trail ride or an 8-mile trail run, or racers can participate in both courses. Participants also can sign up for a 5- or 13-mile fun ride beginning shortly after the race starts. Cruisers and costumes are encouraged on the fun ride.
The cost is $30 for adults, $25 for Routt County Riders members, $18 for youths ages 13 to 18 and $10 for children younger than 13. Proceeds benefit the Routt County Riders’ trail maintenance fund and the Steamboat Springs Running Series.
All participants will receive a race T-shirt, and the post-race party includes lunch, refreshments and prizes.
Register in advance at http://ride4dirt.signup365.com or on the day of the race. For more information, go to www.routtcountyriders.org.