Top 5 stories on, week of Oct. 4 |

Top 5 stories on, week of Oct. 4

The Deep Creek Fire burns on Oct. 7, 2020.
Photo by Eli Pace / Sky-Hi News

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

1. Sheriff: 50-acre Deep Creek Fire burning on Forest Service lands in Summit County

Officials issued a mandatory evacuation order for the Spring Creek Ranch neighborhood north of Heeney after a 50-acre wildfire broke out in the area Wednesday, Oct. 7.

Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons said the evacuation order was issued out of “an abundance of caution” and that no lives or structures were being threatened at the time by the blaze. Only about a half-dozen homes were evacuated from the neighborhood, according to Steve Lipsher, a spokesperson with Summit Fire & EMS.

Smoke was reported near the Spring Creek Ranch subdivision at about 3:45 p.m. Fire crews with Summit Fire & EMS, Red, White & Blue and the U.S. Forest Service responded to the scene, along with law enforcement from Summit and Grand counties. Firefighters also received air support from a Type 3 helicopter and a large air tanker.

Sawyer D’Argonne

2. Colorado Department of Transportation replaces stolen Loveland Pass warning sign

The Colorado Department of Transportation installed a new warning sign at the top of Loveland Pass after a similar sign was stolen from the location earlier this summer.

Elise Thatcher, spokeswoman for CDOT’s Region 3, confirmed the warning sign at the top of Loveland Pass was stolen this summer. The sign warned backcountry users at the popular skiing, snowboarding and recreation location to beware of “avalanche blasting at any time using long range weaponry.”

— Antonio Olivero

3. Summit County investigates COVID-19 outbreak at Briar Rose Chophouse

Summit County officials are investigating an outbreak of two cases of the novel coronavirus among employees of Briar Rose Chophouse in Breckenridge. The county has identified the employees’ close contacts, who have been placed in quarantine.

The county’s contact tracing team did not identify any close contacts among customers of the restaurant. The restaurant had been diligently following all protocols, according to a news release.

— Libby Stanford  

4. Breckenridge opts for creative trail etiquette signage amid surge in local trail use

After seeing an increase in crowds this summer, the town of Breckenridge is taking a fresh approach to trail signage in hopes it will help improve trail etiquette among various user groups.

Anne Lowe, the town’s open space and trails manager, said the town brainstormed ways to get people’s attention by being “lighthearted, visual and different.”

The town then leaned on Breck local Nikki LaRochelle, a commissioner on the Breckenridge Open Space Advisory Commission, to draw the creative signs. LaRochelle, an accomplished artist and athlete, combined trail etiquette messages with illustrations of animals.

— Antonio Olivero

5. Vail, Summit County snowboarders facing criminal charges, $168,000 in restitution for avalanche incident

Vail resident Evan Hannibal and Summit County resident Tyler DeWitt are facing a reckless endangerment charge and a potential $168,000 in restitution after triggering an avalanche above the Eisenhower Tunnel.

The pair gave GoPro footage to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center in March, which was reviewed by the Summit County Sheriff’s Office. Comments in the video were used to help establish a case against them.

A new, $120,000 O’bellx avalanche control system was destroyed in the avalanche, and Hannibal and DeWitt may be ordered to pay restitution for the destruction of the device.

— John LaConte, Vail Daily

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