Top 5 most-read stories last week: Ptarmigan Fire, short-term rentals and transportation troubles |

Top 5 most-read stories last week: Ptarmigan Fire, short-term rentals and transportation troubles

Editor’s note: Stories in this list received the most page views on in the past week.

1. Ptarmigan Fire ignites near Silverthorne, forcing out Hamilton Creek neighborhood residents

Editor’s note: Mandatory evacuation orders for the Ptarmigan Fire have been lifted. Several neighborhoods remain in pre-evacuation status.

A wildfire that ignited on U.S. Forest Service land northeast of Silverthorne forced the evacuation of numerous residents in the Hamilton Creek neighborhood on the afternoon of Monday, Sept. 27.

The fire, which officials are calling the Ptarmigan Fire, was burning between 30 and 40 acres as of the latest update from the Forest Service on Monday night. No homes have burned.

The first reports of smoke sightings from Ptarmigan Mountain, just outside the border of the Ptarmigan Peak Wilderness Area, came in at around 4:30 p.m., according to Summit Fire & EMS Chief Travis Davis. At around 6 p.m., the Summit County Sheriff’s Office issued an evacuation order for residents on Lakeview Circle in the upper Hamilton Creek neighborhood, and a mandatory evacuation order was placed on the entire neighborhood at about 8 p.m.

Sawyer D’Argonne

2. Ptarmigan Fire approaches 100 acres with more evacuations ordered

It was another somber day in Summit County on Tuesday, Sept. 28, as community members watched the Ptarmigan Fire northeast of Silverthorne continue to cast a black plume of smoke over the area.

Those evacuated from their homes gathered at Silverthorne Town Hall to get credentials in hopes that they’d be given an opportunity to return, even for a few minutes, to collected their most cherished and important items. Residents prayed for the heavens to open up and bring a downpour over the blaze. And firefighters and aircraft from around the state arrived in force to protect hundreds of homes below the looming force of nature.

“It’s frightening,” said Calvin Stewart, a Hamilton Creek resident who was evacuated Monday night. “… Of course your first thought — being in denial — is, ‘We’re going to be just fine.’ But the reality is we may not.”

Sawyer D’Argonne

3. Breckenridge passes short-term rental cap following hostile 2nd reading

Breckenridge Town Council voted unanimously to pass an ordinance capping nonexempt short-term rental licenses at 2,200 on second reading, with a few modifications since the first reading.

At the council’s Sept. 28, meeting, Mayor Eric Mamula emphasized that this is not the end of the town’s discussion on short-term rentals and more work on exemptions will come “fairly quickly.”

Mamula said reading some of the letters sent to council has been “painful” and added that he has had “relatively nasty” interactions with folks around town who are opposed to the cap.

Lindsey Toomer

4. Ptarmigan Fire evacuations lifted

The evacuees are headed home.

Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons announced during a community update at Silverthorne Town Hall Wednesday night, Sept. 29, that residents in the Hamilton Creek and upper Angler Mountain Ranch neighborhoods would be allowed to return to their homes at 10 a.m. Thursday morning, Sept. 30.

Sawyer D’Argonne

5. Summit County commissioners frustrated by lack of CDOT work along US Highway 6 and Interstate 70

If Summit County residents were the only ones using the community’s major roadways such as U.S. Highway 6, Colorado Highway 9 and the exits along Interstate 70, most of the negative transportation impacts wouldn’t be as prevalent as they are today. But it’s not just residents driving these major arteries: It’s also daily visitors from the Front Range, vacationers from out of state and travelers trying to get to the rest of the Western Slope.

This is the major message that all three Summit County commissioners were trying to express during a joint Summit Board of County Commissioners and Colorado Department of Transportation biannual meeting Tuesday, Sept. 28.

Jenna deJong

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