May 16, 2013
Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue's Julie Wernig runs through a swift water training session with her fellow firefighters Thursday afternoon on the banks of the Yampa River. Water levels are very high with spring runoff, and water temperatures are very low, creating dangerous conditions. Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue Captain Travis Wilkinson warns residents to use extra caution around fast-moving streams and rivers this time of year and to always wear a life jacket in wildwater ways like the Yampa.
"It's easy to be complacent around the Yampa because there is so much recreation on the river, but in the springtime, the high water can be very dangerous," Wilkinson said. He recommends that recreational users wait until water levels drop to get into the river and that users such as kayakers make sure they have a life jacket and practice river safety.