Ft. Collins, CO – A wildfire in northern Colorado has destroyed a house and a garage, burning 5,600 acres. The fire threatens at least 23 other homes and has forced scores of families to flee. It defied expectations Thursday night by jumping from treetop to treetop. Officials say fires usually lay down at night as winds calm, but that hasn't happened with this fire in Poudre Canyon, northwest of Fort Collins. Gray smoke billowing thousands of feet into the sky grounded air tankers Thursday afternoon. The fire was 15 percent contained last night.
Cheyenne, WY – Wyoming fire officials say this spring's warm, dry weather will likely mean a longer and more intense fire season. The potential for the season still hinges on rainfall amounts in April and May. But snowpacks are melting at a near-record pace and this March was one of the driest on record. State Forester Bill Crapser says the Black Hills and Medicine Bow National Forests have the greatest fire danger at this point.
Powell, Wy – A preliminary investigation blames a fire at a Northwest College dormitory in Powell on an electrical appliance. Fire investigators sifted through the charred building today (Wednesday) and believe the fire was accidental. The type of electrical appliance was not identified. The fire began in a room on the second floor of the two-story dorm yesterday afternoon. Four students were treated for breathing problems but no one was seriously hurt.
Laramie, Wy – After enduring a shortage of flu vaccines this winter, some county health departments are already ordering extra vaccines for next year. But, in the past some departments have been left with excess shots. Doctor Brent Sherard, the State Health Officer, says this is why it is so hard to estimate how many vaccines are necessary. Basically, he says, it is just best guesstimate. The good news is that more people are interested in gettin flu shots and so Sherard says they will work to make sure everyone who needs a vaccine gets one.
Cheyenne, Wyoming – The state is requesting an outside review of the Wyoming State Hospital following the suicide of a female patient. A team of experts from Wyoming and across the country will be compiled over the next few weeks to inspect the Evanston facility. Health Department director Deb Fleming says such investigations aren't unusual and are used to determine if policies need updating.
Cody, WY – United Airlines and officials in Cody disagree over the potential success of Cody to Denver flights this summer. The deal for the service between United and the Cody Yellowstone Air Service Organization includes a revenue guarantee. Under it, the two sides set a revenue target and the community would need to pay United only if that target isn't met. Rick Wilder of the Cody Yellowstone Air Service Organization disagrees with United. He thinks the service will break even or make money. But regardless of success, Wilder says the service is better then what's there now.
Riverton, Wy – Rangers in northwest Wyoming's national forests are preparing for what could be a contentious first season enforcing new food storage rules. The rules took effect this month. They're meant to keep food away from bears in more parts of the Shoshone and Bridger-Teton national forests. Forest officials say they're needed to reduce human and bear conflicts and make more parts of the forests safer for visitors.