From wildfires to lawsuits against reality shows, here are the Summit Daily’s most popular 2017 stories | SummitDaily.com

From wildfires to lawsuits against reality shows, here are the Summit Daily’s most popular 2017 stories

Crews battle the Peak 2 wildfire outside of Breckenridge on Wednesday, July 5. Several stories from the wildfire made the list of the most-read stories on summitdaily.com in 2017.

Editor's note: In the countdown to 2018, the Summit Daily has reviewed some of the top stories of the year. Below is a list of the top 10 most-read stories by page views on SummitDaily.com.

1. Wildfire breaks out near Breckenridge, smoke jumpers en route

On July 5, a wildfire broke out in the Gold Hill Trail area near Breckenridge, quickly growing to 70 acres in a matter of hours.

As smokejumpers and a local firefighting crew worked at the scene, a mandatory evacuation was ordered for the Peak 7 neighborhood.

Residents weren't able to return to their homes for two days.

After the fire was brought under control, investigators learned he Peak 2 Fire was human-caused.

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More than 400 firefighters fought the blaze at its peak.

2. Discovery Channel's 'Gold Rush,' 'mining for ratings,' faces lawsuit from Park County neighbors

A group of 30 Park County residents filed a lawsuit after they say the Discovery Channel's reality-TV gold mining operation wrecked a hillside landscape, ran afoul of its permits and shattered the quiet of their neighborhood all summer.

Save South Park filed a lawsuit against the Board of County Commissioners of Park County, accusing it of "abusing its discretion" by granting a favorable rezoning for the miners against the recommendation of its own planning commission.

The lawsuit also names two companies tied to "Gold Rush," High Speed Mining, LLC and High Speed Aggregate, Inc.

"All I've ever wanted to do all summer long is sit on my deck and have some quiet, and I couldn't do that this year because there was so much noise — it was unbelievable," said resident Ann Lukacs.

3. Breckenridge mourns loss of Eric Dube, beloved physical therapist set to help Team USA at Olympics

Friends and family mourned the loss of Eric Dube in November, a well-known physical therapist in Summit County. The 30-year-old Breckenridge man died unexpectedly from an undiagnosed heart condition while mountain biking with friends near Moab, Utah.

"People just wanted to be with him," his mother Lisa said. "Eric made everybody feel important. He was just a magnet to people. He lit up the room."

4. Finding the right golf ball: Odds are you're spending too much

Written in 2016, this article is still a popular one on SummitDaily.com. Vail Daily sports editor Chris Freud offers tips for how to choose a golf ball depending on style and level.

"The most expensive ball is not always the best ball," said Eagle-Vail Golf Club pro Ben Welsh. "They are the best ball for the better player, but the expensive ones are designed for higher club-head speed and better players. But the novice player is actually going to get more performance from a ball that is easier to compress."

5. Breckenridge Peak 2 Fire scorches 80 acres, forcing evacuation

This story was a recap of Day 1 of the Peak 2 Fire in July that erupted in the Gold Hill Trail area near Breckenridge. The roughly 80-acre fire spread quickly and forced the evacuation of more than 400 homes in the Peak 7 area.

6. Coroner identifies skier who died Friday at Breckenridge Ski Resort

Colorado experienced its fourth skier fatality of the 2016-17 season when 26-year-old Ricardo Cohen died at Breckenridge Ski Resort on Feb. 10. Cohen, of Mexico City, Mexico, died while skiing on the Volunteer run off Peak 9's C-Chair Friday morning after slamming hard into snow, according to the Summit County Coroner's Office. He was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, but the level of head trauma from the crash ultimately proved too grave.

7. After years of hiding, Summit County sheriff's deputy proudly comes out as transgender

In April, sheriff's operations commander and SWAT leader, Lesley Mumford, took the final step in a long-awaited gender transition with a professional announcement to friends and coworkers.

Sharing her story with the Summit Daily in June, Mumford said for her and her wife of 12 years, Sarah, the sense of relief was overwhelming. Lesley had struggled with her gender identity since adolescence, she said, along with depression and confusion. By 2014, she had decided to begin her transition in earnest, seeking therapy and over time telling family members and close friends.

"So many peoples' stories don't go the way mine has gone," she said. "But I want people to know that it is possible to be transgender and find love, be a parent and have a rewarding career with goals and dreams like everyone else has. There was a time in my life when I didn't think I could."

8. Breckenridge Peak 2 Fire now 7 percent contained, no significant growth reported

On Day 2 of the Peak 2 Fire, officials had the wildfire 7 percent contained and it was roughly 80 acres in size. The Peak 7 evacuation remained in place, and roughly 100 personnel were actively fighting the fire.

9. Rescued Silverthorne hiker recounts how he survived 80 hours lost in Colorado 14er backcountry

Thirty-six-year-old Silverthorne resident Shuei Kato tells us his incredible story of survival in Colorado's backcountry after he got lost while hiking Missouri Mountain.

With little more than a day's worth of supplies and perhaps slightly more gear than that of a typical afternoon hiker, the Wildernest resident managed to overcome roughly 80 hours in the backcountry and not only live, but suffer little more than some minor soreness and swelling.

The husband and father of two overcame overnight snowfall and whiteout conditions, to finally be rescued after flames he was able to generate using a Jetboil then registered a heat signature for a multi-mission aircraft used by the search party.

10. Breckenridge wildfire was human-caused, investigators seeking two hikers seen in area

On July 11, investigators announced that the Peak 2 Fire was human-caused. Officials were interested in two people seen hiking on the Colorado Trail above Miners Creek Road junction at around 11 a.m. on July 5, and urged members of the public with information that might help identify the two individuals to call.

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