News briefs for Sept. 15

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Rio Blanco man dies in accident

Alcohol and heavy rain may have been factors in the death of a Rio Blanco man who was killed when he was ejected from his vehicle Saturday afternoon, the Colorado State Patrol reported.

Darrie Dean Bauer, 40, of Rio Blanco County, was heading north on Rio Blanco County Road 5 in his 1988 Toyota when it ran off the right side of the road. The vehicle rotated and rolled twice a total of 105 feet when the driver attempted to return to the road, the State Patrol reported. Bauer was ejected during the roll.

Heavy rain caused soil and loose debris to flow over the road, and the vehicle was not equipped with safety belts, the State Patrol reported.

Dinosaur to seek grant for police housing

The Dinosaur Town Council decided to move forward Tuesday with a grant request to the state to pay for housing the town's police officers.

The town has been without a full-time police officer since mid-August, when both marshals resigned and took higher-paying jobs in oil fields.

Mayor Wendy Petersen said she hopes having the housing paid for will make the job more desirable.

She said the position is not being advertised yet because the Town Council wants to figure out what to do with the position before advertising.

Petersen said the Moffat County commissioners and the Town Council will continue to look at how to keep Dinosaur police officers on the force.

Fire restrictions lifted based on conditions

Based on current conditions, the Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge (FWS) is lifting existing fire restrictions as of Wednesday.

"We feel comfortable rescinding the fire ban due to recent rain and cooler temperatures." FWS Fire Management Officer Joe Flores said. "Recreationists can once again enjoy camp fires while visiting our public lands."

The public is reminded that gathering firewood is prohibited on FWS managed land.

Even though restrictions are being lifted, fire officials stress the importance of continuing fire safety practices.

Some tips:

  • It is unlawful to leave a campfire unattended. Citations will be issued.
  • Keep plenty of water and a shovel handy and drown all fires completely. Stir the remains, add water and stir again.
  • Extinguish and dispose of all smoking materials away from any fuel source. Hold matches until they are cold.
  • Clear area of brush and grass around campfires and use existing fire rings or pits when possible.
  • Use approved spark arresters on chainsaws, all-terrain vehicles and other internal combustion powered equipment.
  • The use of fireworks are always illegal on public lands.

For more information, call the Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge at 365-3613.

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