Colorado News Roundup: Fire near Colorado-Wyoming border burns cabin, outbuildings (07.29.16)
WALDEN, Colo. — The largest wildfire currently burning in Colorado has scorched more than 43 square miles and destroyed a cabin and several outbuildings.
Fire officials said Thursday that high temperatures, low humidity and gusty winds the previous day pushed the Beaver Creek Fire in northern Colorado toward Parson’s Draw development. Wind-whipped flames forced firefighters to retreat, and one cabin and eight outbuildings were burned. In addition, three historic outbuildings were destroyed at the Mitchell Placer Mine south of Parson’s Draw.
No injuries were reported.
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The fire near the Wyoming border was reported June 19 and is not expected to be contained until October. Investigators have not determined what caused the blaze.
Attorneys for gunman in deadly clinic attack seek media ban
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Attorneys for a man who killed three people and injured nine more in a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs are seeking to have their client barred from talking to the news media.
The Gazette reports Robert Lewis Dear Jr.’s lawyers filed a motion last week asking the court to require a mental health facility in Pueblo to prohibit reporters from interacting with their client. Dear is undergoing treatment there while the case against him is pending.
The motion accuses “unethical” reporters of trying to exploit Dear, who the attorneys say is “mentally ill.”
Dear has admitted to opening fire at the clinic on Nov. 27 and psychologists have testified that he has a delusional disorder.
He was ordered to undergo mental health treatment in May.
Hail causes heavy damage at Colorado Springs Airport
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Colorado Springs Airport is urging travelers to check the status of their flights with airlines after a hailstorm damaged runway lights as well as canopies and skylights at the terminal.
Airport spokesman Nathan Lavan said Friday that one flight was canceled and others were delayed after Thursday’s storm delivered tennis ball-sized hail and multiple lightning strikes.
Lavan says the airport sustained up to $500,000 in damage. Numerous vehicles in the parking lot also were damaged.
In Colorado Springs, police spokesman Howard Black says hail knocked 27 police cruisers out of service. Hail piled up like snow in some areas, and firefighters put out a house fire caused by a lightning strike.
Feds cancel energy leases in White River National Forest
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. — The federal government has canceled 25 oil and gas leases in central Colorado’s White River National Forest while adding new conditions for other undeveloped leases there.
The Bureau of Land Management on Friday canceled the leases located in the Thompson Divide — an area southwest of Aspen has been the subject of aggressive lobbying by groups and municipalities that depend on the outdoor recreation industry.
The Glenwood Springs Post Independent reports that energy firms had been seeking a new government review of the forest leases. That push came after a new study estimated a much greater abundance of natural gas in western Colorado than was previously believed.
Two years ago, the federal government made more than 90 percent of the 2.2-million-acre White River National Forest off-limits to energy exploration.
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