Public Safety

Niels Sienaert / Creative Commons, Flickr

Traffic fatalities are up significantly in Colorado Springs this year. The city has counted 38 traffic deaths so far in 2018, compared to last year’s record high of 39 overall.

NASA.gov

Teams of people from the Mountain West, including firefighters and Red Cross volunteers, have already been deployed to the East Coast in preparation for Hurricane Florence.

Just days after the massive Mendocino Complex Fire ignited in Northern California, fire officials were getting desperate in their emails to Verizon Wireless. As Santa Clara County firefighters mobilized, they discovered that Internet access had slowed to a crawl on the vehicle they were using to coordinate their response.

"Please work with us," Daniel Farrelly, a systems analyst for the Santa Clara Fire Department, entreated the company in an email dated July 30. "All we need is a plan that does not offer throttling or caps of any kind."

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed an executive order this week requiring that abandoned oil and gas equipment be plugged up or removed. 

The move comes about a year after an old natural gas pipeline leaked methane into a home in Firestone, Colorado. The home exploded, killing two people and injuring another.

Colorado Department of Transportation Facebook

The Spring Fire burning in southern Colorado is now 55% contained, up from 43% on Saturday. It's burned 106,985 acres. The Colorado Department of Transportation has reopened Highway 160 between La Veta and Fort Garland. Colorado Highway 12 remains closed from La Veta to Cuchara Pass. Colorado 69 will also stay closed from near Walsenburg to the Huerfano/Custer County Line. Local traffic will be allowed on 69; proof of residence is required.

Spring Fire 2018 Facebook page / Rocky Mountain Indicident Management

The Spring Fire in southern Colorado is now 105,704 acres and 35% contained. The Colorado Department of Transportation anticipates reopening Highway 160 on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Colorado 12 will remain closed from La Veta to the summit of Cuchara Pass. Colorado Highway 69 will remain closed to all except local traffic; proof of residence is required. Some evacuation notices in Huerfano County have been lifted.

Courtesy Spring Fire 2018 Facebook page

The Spring Fire continues to grow quickly, with reports showing a burn area of more than 94,125 acres. That's an increase of 10,000 acres since previously reported. Containment has remained steady at 5%. Most of the land is under private ownership, while state and federal lands are also affected.

@CSP_Alamosa/Twitter

The total acreage burned by the Spring Fire continues to grow. As of Tuesday morning, officials say 78,941 acres, more than 120 square miles has been effect. The containment level of the fire decreased to 5% Tuesday, down from 10% the day before. 104 homes are confirmed destroyed.

BLM, Esri, HERE, Garmin, USGS, NGA, EPA, USDA, NPS / Inciweb

Authorities have arrested a suspect on arson charges related to the Spring Fire burning in Costilla and Huerfano Counties in southern Colorado. Jesper Jorgenson, 52, was arrested without incident by Costilla County deputies in an investigation that also included the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, state arson investigators, Colorado State Patrol, and Immigration and Customs agents. The investigation is still ongoing, and no further information is available.

courtesy Colorado Department of Transportation

Update 5:39 p.m., Friday 6/29/18: In Huerfano County, mandatory evacuations are in place for residents in Tres Valles, Paradise Acres, Raspberry Mountain, Pine Haven, and the Cuchara Valley. At this time, La Veta is not part of the mandatory evacuation but remains on pre-evacuation notice. 

Any large animals being held at the 4H barn in La Veta can stay, but a secondary location is open at the Las Animas County Fairgrounds.

United States Drought Monitor

Hot, dry weather is forcing fire bans across southern Colorado. Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs are the latest to enact restrictions.

A jagged crack suddenly appeared in a window aboard a Southwest Airlines 737 on Wednesday, startling passengers and forcing the pilot on the Chicago-to-Newark flight to divert to Cleveland, where he made a safe landing.

Colorado Springs Airport Instagram/cosairport

The Colorado Springs Airport is open again today after a three-alarm fire Monday night prompted its closure and the cancellation of all commercial flights Tuesday. 

El Paso County PIO, Twitter

--- Update 4/19/18, 9:45 p.m. ---

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office is reporting that the #117Fire has been completely contained.

--- Update 4/19/18, 7:30 a.m. ---

The #117Fire is now estimated at 60% containment, with little to no growth. It remains nearly 41,000 acres. The state's Type II team has officially taken over command of fighting the fire as of 6 a.m. There's a new fire information phone number: 719-428-5223 (from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.).

National Weather Service-Pueblo

Evacuations are in place as firefighters throughout southern Colorado battle multiple fires. 

This weekend, hundreds of thousands of teens are expected to march on Washington D.C. and around the country, calling for gun control. The Mountain West News Bureau spoke with two students in Montana and Wyoming who do not plan to march, and are worried gun control reform could change their way of life.

USDOT

The collapse of a pedestrian bridge in Miami last week is raising questions about "accelerated bridge construction," something that happens across the country and here in the Mountain West. These so-called "instant bridges" are where most of the bridge is built off-site and then installed.

Colorado Springs FIre Department @CSFDPIO

Residents who have been evacuated due to a fire along the El Paso-Pueblo County line can start returning to their homes, with the exception of three locations. The fire, which started Friday on Fort Carson near a training exercise, has burned 3300 acres and is 80% contained as of late afternoon Saturday. 

Colorado Springs FIre Department @CSFDPIO

7:00 p.m.: In a press briefing Friday evening, officials confirmed that several structures have been lost in the fire, but said no loss of life or injury has been reported. El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder said most of the threatened structures are believed to be safe at this point, and that fire crews are focused now on extinguishing the blaze. He said he hopes the fire will be out before midnight.

A spokesperson for Fort Carson explained that the blaze -- which was sparked on Fort Carson and joined up with another flare up that started in the area yesterday -- began in the vicinity of a training exercise that was being conducted on post. He added that the training was necessary and could not have been delayed, despite red flag fire conditions in the region Friday.

In his first formal policy response to the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Fla., last month, President Trump is setting up a federal commission to explore school safety. He's also endorsing legislation to improve background checks, and urging states to pass laws temporarily keeping guns out of the hands of people judged to be dangerous to themselves or others.

A policy proposal unveiled Sunday evening has Trump renewing his support for arming teachers and other school employees on a volunteer basis. He stopped short of endorsing a higher age limit for would-be gun buyers.

Ali Budner / 91.5 KRCC, Mountain West News Bureau

The national conversation we’re having on guns is particularly painful in Colorado, where Columbine and Aurora are still active wounds. And like the rest of the country, this Mountain West state is deeply divided over what measures to take.

Colorado’s Capitol, like 28 other statehouses across the country, has security checkpoints at public entrances. There are metal detectors that visitors and lobbyists must pass through under the watchful eyes of State Patrol officers, who are there to protect everyone in the building and keep illegal guns and other weapons out. But for some, the security is too much.

David Shankbone / Creative Commons

A recent report by The National Safety Council estimates annual traffic fatalities are down slightly across the country.  But Wyoming and Colorado seem to be bucking that trend.  

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Authorities released more information Tuesday about the circumstances and victims of a shootout in Colorado Springs that left El Paso County Sheriff's Deputy Micah Flick dead, and three other law enforcement officers wounded.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Updated 2/6/18 at 12:05pm

34-year-old El Paso County Sheriff's Deputy Micah Flick, an 11-year-veteran of the department, was killed Monday afternoon as law enforcement officers investigated a stolen vehicle in east Colorado Springs.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Colorado Springs Police have arrested 31-year old Neal Joseph Arnceneaux in connection with an incident that kept areas of northeast Colorado Springs cordoned off Friday afternoon and into the night. 

The initial incident occurred after CSPD responded to a domestic violence call Friday around 3:40 p.m. on Union Blvd., says Lt. Howard Black. He says shots were exchanged between the suspect and police.  No one was hit.

Shanna Lewis / 91.5 KRCC

Pueblo property owners will see a 35% increase next year in the fees they pay to repair and maintain the aging Arkansas River levee. Construction costs to update the levee are higher because the levee extended deeper into the riverbed than expected.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Emergency officials in Colorado Springs are calling on folks living in the city’s wildland urban interface to be prepared for wildfire. 

Bente Birkeland / Capitol Coverage

Governor John Hickenlooper wants the state to reevaluate how it inspects oil and gas wells in the wake of a fatal home explosion in Firestone. An oil and gas flow line was found to be severed and leaking methane and other gases. Two people died and another was critically injured in the explosion.  

91.5 KRCC

Colorado energy regulators are trying to quell the public's fears after a house built near an oil and gas well exploded, killing two men. The explosion happened in the small community of Firestone, thirty miles north of Denver, where oil and gas wells are common.  State officials are still investigating the explosion and don't know what caused it.

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