Fire District – The Pagosa Springs SUN http://www.pagosasun.com The most trusted source for news and information about Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Mon, 03 Aug 2020 20:51:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 http://www.pagosasun.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/cropped-sun-logo-512x512-1-32x32.jpg Fire District – The Pagosa Springs SUN http://www.pagosasun.com 32 32 Archuleta County Stage 1 fire restriction rescinded http://www.pagosasun.com/archuleta-county-stage-1-fire-restriction-rescinded/ Mon, 03 Aug 2020 20:51:21 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=208201 Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office 

Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office, in collaboration with Pagosa Fire Protection District, hereby notifies residents of Archuleta County that the current Stage 1 fire restriction has been rescinded, effective as of noon, Monday, Aug. 3.

Please continue to follow safe burning practices and remember, that in accordance with Archuleta County Resolution 18-2017, all open burning requires a permit. Permits can be purchased from Pagosa Fire Protection District at Station I, 191 N Pagosa Blvd, Pagosa Springs.

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Two search and rescue missions completed last week http://www.pagosasun.com/two-search-and-rescue-missions-completed-last-week/ Mon, 03 Aug 2020 11:00:52 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=208078 By Chris Mannara
Staff Writer

Two search and rescue missions were completed by the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) on July 21.

The first call for assistance came around 12:32 p.m. for an injured female hiker in her mid-50s on the Fourmile Falls trail who reportedly had a broken ankle, according to OEM Director Mike Le Roux.

OEM, Pagosa Springs Medical Center EMS, and Upper San Juan Search and Rescue were already doing training at the time, Le Roux noted.

“We had plenty of resources,” Le Roux said, adding that the Pagosa Fire Protection District assisted as well.

Once the team arrived on scene and made contact with the patient, a second call came in around 1:40 p.m. for a female with a broken leg from a horse accident on the Piedra River Trail.

From there, the team was split into two and OEM Deputy Director Christina Kraetsch took command of half the team, Le Roux described.

“I was able to request assistance from the Forest Service and they had resources in the area,” Le Roux said.

According to Le Roux, the woman was not too far into the trail and that the injury stemmed from the horse getting scared.

“I think the horse was coming out of a box canyon, got spooked, bucked her, and she ended up off the trail, probably about 30 or 40 feet off the trail, down about a 20 degree slope,” he said. 

A ropes team was sent in to rescue the woman, which featured members of the U.S. Forest Service and OEM personnel, Le Roux noted.

“My understanding was it was a pretty bad break,” Le Roux said of the woman’s injury. 

Between two missions, OEM personnel were on scene from 12:30 to 5 p.m. on July 21, Le Roux added later.

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Stove Ridge Fire under investigation http://www.pagosasun.com/stove-ridge-fire-under-investigation/ Fri, 24 Jul 2020 11:00:33 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=207808

Photo courtesy Pagosa Fire Protection District
Visible smoke can be seen from the Stove Ridge Fire, a fire that began on the Colorado and New Mexico state line on U.S. 84 around 3:30 p.m. on July 15.

By Chris Mannara
Staff Writer

An active wildland fire on the Colorado and New Mexico state line along U.S. 84 was reported on July 15 around 3:35 p.m.

According to a press release from the Pagosa Fire Protection District (PFPD), the first due engine on scene reported a column of smoke consistent with initial reports.

After further investigation, the fire was determined to be located in New Mexico, according to the press release.

The PFPD responded with four engines, two water tenders, one chief car, seven staff members and eight volunteers.

Additionally, four personnel from the Archuleta County Office of Emergency Management responded.

Personnel from the U.S. Forest Service, New Mexico State Forestry and Chama District also responded to the fire.

The PFPD was on scene for about six hours, according to the press release.

Command of the fire, named the Stove Ridge Fire, was soon transferred to New Mexico State Forestry and, as of July 16, the fire was approximately 7.5 acres.

According to the PFPD press release, the cause of the Stove Ridge Fire is under investigation and there are no firefighter injuries reported.

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Fireworks potential cause of Aspen Springs brush fire http://www.pagosasun.com/fireworks-potential-cause-of-aspen-springs-brush-fire/ Sat, 18 Jul 2020 11:00:15 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=207509 By Chris Mannara
Staff Writer

A brush fire in Aspen Springs unit six that occurred on the morning of July 11 was reportedly started due to fireworks and is under investigation.

Nine Pagosa Fire Protection District (PFPD) personnel were paged out by dispatch to a wildland fire at 748 Gun Barrel Road at about 8:20 a.m. on July 11, according to PFPD Deputy Chief Karn Macht. The PFPD arrived on scene at 8:51 a.m.

“Upon arrival, found a quarter-acre fire, attack lines were stretched, fire was knocked down. We got some more resources on scene,” he said. “Another brush truck, and the Forest Service sent a squad. We cut a handline around the fire and mopped it up and we left it monitor status and went back on Sunday and put some more water on some hot spots.”

According to Macht, the PFPD would be checking on the fire as of Monday to make sure all the smoke in the area has been taken care of.

“The fire was burning in the ground. It actually scorched some Ponderosa pines and went through some Gambel oak and went through some grass,” Macht described. “If it would have gotten bigger, there was some structures that were in the area, but, luckily, we were able to get a handle on it before anything was threatened.”

The PFPD left the scene on July 11 at 11:37 a.m. and returned to the scene on July 12 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Macht reported.

About 3,000 gallons of water were used on July 11 to combat the fire and 4,000 gallons of water was used on July 12, Macht noted.

According to Macht, the cause of the fire is undetermined at this time, but noted that the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office made contact with some people who were on-site and that “fireworks were a potential cause.”

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Public Meetings http://www.pagosasun.com/public-meetings-230/ Thu, 16 Jul 2020 21:00:36 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=207469 The following meetings are subject to change.

Tuesday, July 21

Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners work session. 8:30 a.m. Call 264-8300 one to two days before the meeting to obtain the login information.

Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners regular meeting. 1:30 p.m. Call 264-8300 one to two days before the meeting to obtain the login information.

C-STAT Distinguished Performance Award by state of Colorado to Archuleta County Department of Human Services team. 3 p.m. Archuleta County administration building, commissioners’ meeting room, 398 Lewis St. and via Google online. Call 264-8300 one to two days before the meeting to obtain the login information.

Thursday, July 23

Pagosa Springs Urban Renewal Authority meeting. 5 p.m. See town website for participation information.

Pagosa Springs Town Council meeting. 5 p.m. See town website for participation information.

Tuesday, July 28

Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners work session. 8:30 a.m. Call 264-8300 one to two days before the meeting to obtain the login information.

Upper San Juan Health Service District regular board meeting. 5:30 p.m. Join Zoom meeting: https://zoom.us/j/96904926293, meeting ID: 969 0492 6293 Phone in using: (346) 248-7799. 

Friday, July 31

Pagosa Springs Town Council work session. 5 p.m. See town website for participation information.

Monday, Aug. 3

Pagosa Peak Open School Board of Directors regular meeting. 5 p.m., 7 Parelli Way.

Tuesday, Aug. 11

Archuleta School District Board of Education meeting. 6 p.m., virtual meeting. See the agenda on the district website for participation information.

Thursday, Aug. 13

Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District regular meeting. 5 p.m., 100 Lyn Ave.

Public meeting information should be sent to editor@pagosasun.com with “Public Meeting” in the subject line. The deadline is noon Monday each week prior to publication for that week’s issue.

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Public Meetings http://www.pagosasun.com/public-meetings-229/ Thu, 09 Jul 2020 21:00:17 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=207099 The following meetings are subject to change.

Monday, July 13

Pagosa Peak Open School Board of Directors work session and regular meeting. 5 p.m. work session, 6 p.m. regular meeting, 7 Parelli Way.

Tuesday, July 14

Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners work session. 8:30 a.m. Call 264-8300 one to two days before the meeting to obtain the login information.

Archuleta School District Board of Education meeting. 5:30 p.m., virtual meeting. See the agenda on the district website for participation information.

Town of Pagosa Springs Planning Commission. 5:30 p.m. See town website for participation information.

Pagosa Fire Protection District Board of Directors meeting and Board of Trustees of the Pagosa Fire Protection District Firemen’s Pension Fund regular meeting. 6:30 p.m., Administrative Building, Training Room, 165 N. Pagosa Blvd.

Wednesday, July 15

Archuleta County Republican Central Committee meeting. Noon, Pagosa Brewing, 118 N. Pagosa Blvd. Subject to cancellation due to COVID-19.

Upper San Juan Library District board meeting. 4 p.m., Zoom meeting. Join us at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/79928556999.

Tuesday, July 21

Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners work session. 8:30 a.m. Call 264-8300 one to two days before the meeting to obtain the login information.

Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners regular meeting. 1:30 p.m. Call 264-8300 one to two days before the meeting to obtain the login information.

C-STAT Distinguished Performance Award by state of Colorado to Archuleta County Department of Human Services team. 3 p.m. Archuleta County administration building, commissioners’ meeting room, 398 Lewis St. and via Google online. Call 264-8300 one to two days before the meeting to obtain the login information.

Public meeting information should be sent to editor@pagosasun.com with “Public Meeting” in the subject line. The deadline is noon Monday each week prior to publication for that week’s issue.

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Fire claims life of unidentified man http://www.pagosasun.com/fire-claims-life-of-unidentified-man/ Thu, 09 Jul 2020 11:00:25 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=207012 By John Finefrock
Staff Writer

On July 1, a house fire in Aspen Springs claimed the life of an unidentified man.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.

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Man found deceased following residential fire http://www.pagosasun.com/man-found-deceased-following-residential-fire/ Fri, 03 Jul 2020 16:02:40 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=206802 A man was found deceased in a residence following a fire on Ute Drive in Aspen Springs Unit 5 area on July 1, according to Archuleta County Coroner Brandon Bishop.

“Upon arrival, the first due engine completed a scene size up noting a fully involved residential structure as well as a fully involved outbuilding with fire spreading in the surrounding vegetation and one additional structure threatened,” states a Pagosa Fire Protection District press release from July 1.

Both structures were lost in the fire with the brush fire contained to approximately one-quarter acre.

The name of the deceased male has not been released. An autopsy is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Tuesday in Durango.

Updates will be made when additional information becomes available. 

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Fireworks prohibited in county and town, county fire restrictions in place http://www.pagosasun.com/fireworks-prohibited-in-county-and-town-county-fire-restrictions-in-place/ Thu, 02 Jul 2020 16:43:23 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=206610 By Chris Mannara
Staff Writer

On May 20 Archuleta County enacted Stage 1 fire restrictions, and within those restrictions, personal fireworks “of any kind” are prohibited.

“Personal fireworks are prohibited under the Stage 1 fire ban that we’re in. We’ll be out and about on routine patrol and they’ll be enforcing that, for sure,” Archuleta County Sheriff Rich Valdez said in an interview on Wednesday.

Archuleta County Undersheriff Derek Woodman noted in an interview Wednesday that Archuleta County’s fire ordinance is where the prohibition of personal fireworks is.

“Anytime a fire ban is put in place, whether it’s a one, two or three, fireworks are always prohibited under that ordinance,” Woodman said.

The ordinance also outlines that, regardless of location, open burning, burn barrels, agricultural burning and the use of explosive materials are also prohibited.

Outside of developed areas, the fire restrictions advise citizens to contact their local ranger district, the Bureau of Land Management or the Southern Ute Indian Tribe for the latest restrictions.

Fire danger across the region is rated as extreme. Fire restrictions are also in place on the San Juan National Forest, for tribal lands and in neighboring areas.

In developed areas within unincorporated Archuleta County, charcoal fires in suitable containers, gas grills for barbecues at residences, camp stoves, grills or lights fueled by bottled gas, and fires in permanent fire pits are allowed.

Fire pits must have a 4-foot clearance from combustible materials.

Fires must be attended, and citizens should have firefighting tools and five gallons of water available.

Smoking is limited to vehicles, buildings, developed recreational areas or 3-foot wide areas that are clear of vegetation.

Internal combustion engines must have spark arrestors, and cutting and welding operations must have fire hand tools, 40 pounds’ worth of fire extinguishers or a pressurized water supply on hand, as well as a fire watch standing by.

Flaring for production wells is allowed, but citizens must contact dispatch, and compliance with the Rules for Fire Prevention and Protection must be met.

The county’s fire restrictions do not apply to the Town of Pagosa Springs unless town council were to adopt the same restrictions, Pagosa Springs Police Department Chief William Rockensock explained in an interview Wednesday.

“We do have fireworks restrictions. We have always had fireworks restrictions. They are completely prohibited in the town, and if we catch you with them, you will receive a summons to appear in court,” Rockensock said.

chris@pagosasun.com

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Rope Rescue http://www.pagosasun.com/rope-rescue/ Thu, 02 Jul 2020 15:54:28 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=206544

Photos courtesy Dustin English

Multiple local agencies take part in a rope rescue of William Hardaway, 36, of Durango, who drove off of Wolf Creek Pass around mile marker 162 on June 23. Hardaway was driving a 1993 Dodge pickup truck that was hauling a side-by-side utility terrain vehicle and a Jeep on a gooseneck trailer. According to the Colorado State Patrol, the pickup truck plunged 700 feet down the embankment and ended up in a creek. A helicopter assisted in the rescue efforts by hooking to a rescue basket and pulling Hardaway out of the canyon. He suffered “serious injuries.” See story page A13.

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