Steamboat briefs: Fire officials urge caution due to weather during weekend | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat briefs: Fire officials urge caution due to weather during weekend

Fire officials with the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit are urging the public to be cautious this weekend as conditions continue to dry in Northwest Colorado.

"While conditions across the unit have not reached the critical point where fire restrictions are warranted, people need to be aware that fire danger is currently high," said Fire Management Officer Colt Mortenson in a news release.

Recommended precautions include having a shovel and water on hand to extinguish campfires, where permitted, and avoiding parking in tall, dry grass or driving OHVs in areas, where dry grass can be ignited by hot exhaust. It only takes one spark to start a wildfire — equipment should have working spark arresters, and trailers should be inspected to ensure chains are not dragging.

So far this year, the Northwest Unit has responded to 27 wildfires, 11 of which have been human-caused, including the 17,731 acre Dead Dog Fire near Rangely earlier this month.

Fireworks are always prohibited on lands managed by the BLM, the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service.

Humane Society offering adoption special for holiday

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Routt County Humane Society is offering an adoption special for the Fourth of July holiday.

Through Thursday, July 6, the Humane Society will offer 25-percent off all cat and dog adoption fees. Those who adopt two cats will receive 50 percent off adoption fees.

For more information, call the Humane Society at 970-879-7247.

Historical Society of Oak Creek slated to host author

Join the Historical Society of Oak Creek and Phippsburg as it hosts guest speaker Rose Boscia, author of "Trout Creek Canyon, A Colorado Family History." This free event will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. Friday, July 7 at the South Routt Community Center, 227 Dodge Street, in Oak Creek Boscia's new book will be available.

This historical novel is set in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado near the small town of Oak Creek during the 1950s and is based on real people and actual events. Follow the lives of the Boscia family as they struggle to scrape out a living from Papa's coal mine and deal with the harsh environment while living in conditions similar to those of the 1800s.

Join in the hardships, laughter and love of this Colorado family. This event is sponsored by the Historical Society of Oak Creek and Phippsburg and Tracks & Trails Museum.  For more information, call 970-736-8245.

LiftUp collecting donations at free Summer Concert Series

With the start of the Free Summer Concert Series, LiftUp of Routt County reminds residents the nonprofit will be collecting canned goods or cash donations at the entrance to the concerts throughout the season.

July 22 Tour de Steamboat registration fee increases Saturday

The Tour de Steamboat on July 22 is a non-competitive cycling event offering routes of 26, 46, 66 and 116 miles throughout scenic Routt County. The ride is capped at 1,000 participants, and riders who sign up by Saturday will save $15 off full price registration.

The Tour de Steamboat welcomes cyclists of all ages and abilities. After the ride, participants enjoy a barbecue and beer garden with local microbrews at Little Toots Park. All proceeds from the Tour de Steamboat benefit Yampa Valley Sustainability Council. Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide, Routt County Riders and Partners in Routt County.

Interested riders can learn more and register online at tourdesteamboat.com.

Fourth of July DUI enforcement scheduled to begin Saturday

While families and friends celebrate America's independence with food, drinks and festive activities, the Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State Patrol and 98 local law enforcement agencies will collaborate to ensure roads are clear from impaired drivers. Law enforcement will increase vigilance for the Fourth of July DUI enforcement period through Wednesday, July 5 as part of The Heat Is On campaign. Last year, 312 impaired drivers were arrested during the same enforcement period.

"More vehicles tend to be on the roads during the summer, especially during the Fourth of July weekend, and that unfortunately means more impaired drivers," said Darrell Lingk, director of the Office of Transportation Safety at CDOT. "Sixty-five people were killed last summer because of alcohol-related crashes. Too often, people think they are fine to drive after a couple drinks, but often they are not. If someone is impaired to the slightest degree, they can be arrested."

Last year, June, July and August recorded the highest monthly totals for alcohol-related fatalities in Colorado, with 21, 22 and 22 respectively. Of the 22 alcohol-related crashes in July 2016, three occurred on the Fourth of July.

Aside from the serious safety risks associated with driving impaired, a DUI can cost more than $13,500 after considering fines, legal fees and increased insurance costs. Penalties increase for repeat offenders.

More details about the campaign, including impaired driving enforcement plans, arrest totals and safety tips, can be found at heatisoncolorado.com.