Craig Briefs: Officials think fireworks started Hayden wildfire

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The Routt County Sheriff’s Office thinks fireworks started the Aug. 17 wildfire in Hayden that burned 1,225 acres.

Undersheriff Ray Birch wrote in an email Wednesday that the incident still is under investigation, but they are viewing it as a felony arson case.

The fire was called in by a person who said it started in the grass along Routt County Road 76 about 2 miles from Hayden. Within 20 meters of the origin of the fire, Birch said investigators found three spent Roman candle fireworks.

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call Detective Tom Munden at 970-870-5503. People also can call Routt County Crime Stoppers at 970-870-6226. Callers can remain anonymous.

Several structures and homes were threatened but none were damaged in the fire that quickly burned through grass and brush.

North Routt, Oak Creek, Yampa, Craig and Bureau of Land Management firefighters came to help in addition to an official from the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control. Two aircraft were brought in to drop retardant, and another was assigned to monitor the fire, which was the largest Routt County has seen in several years.

Routt County is responsible for paying to fight wildfires, and it will be reimbursing some of the agencies for their help. Routt County Emergency Management Director Bob Struble said the cost estimate for the aerial support is $28,000, but the cost of the first retardant drop should be reimbursed by the state. Struble estimated the other Routt County fire departments will charge a total of $10,000 to $15,000.

CDOT to launch app for Labor Day traffic

The Colorado Department of Transportation will begin providing real-time push notifications to users of the CDOT Mobile application.

The notifications will appear in the notification bar of those devices and will inform individuals about severe traffic issues that could seriously impact one’s trip during prime travel hours, according to a CDOT press release.

Real-time push notifications will only be sent to users of CDOT Mobile during peak travel times so as not to overburden them with information during less-congested hours. 

According to Ryan Rice, director of transportation operations, “our goal with the implementation of real-time push notifications is to share the most relevant and up-to-date information with travelers where and when they need it most. We all often get too busy to search for current traffic conditions before departing, real-time push notifications will help by sending the most important traffic alerts directly to your mobile device so people can adjust their travel time or route accordingly and avoid long delays.”

The notifications initially will focus on severe traffic alerts for Interstate 70 and I-25 but are one of many planned enhancements to CDOT Mobile that aim to provide the most valuable and user-friendly real-time traveler information for mobile device users in Colorado.

To download CDOT’s free CDOT Mobile smartphone application, simply go to App Store or Google Play stores and search “CDOT Mobile.”

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