March 11th - Missing Hiker Found In RMNP...
A 32 year old Denver man who was
reported missing this afternoon in the Chasm Lake
area of Rocky Mountain National Park has been
The man, whose name is being
withheld at this time, was reportedly hiking with
a friend near Chasm Junction on the Long's Peak
Trail when he failed to show up at a designated
time and location.
Searchers reportedly located the
man at around 6:50pm this evening in near white
out conditions at approximately 12,700 feet in
March 10th - Snow Advisory Issued Through 6PM...
National Weather Service in Denver has issued a Snow
Advisory for the
front range foothills between 6000 - 9000 feet, including
the Drake, Glen Haven and Storm Mountain areas,
through 6PM Friday.
WILL CONTINUE IN THE FOOTHILLS NORTH OF INTERSTATE
70 TODAY. THE SNOW WILL BE HEAVIEST ACROSS
SOUTHERN LARIMER AND BOULDER COUNTIES. SNOW
ACCUMULATIONS OF 3 TO 7 INCHES CAN BE EXPECTED BY
LATE THIS AFTERNOON. A SNOW ADVISORY MEANS THAT
PERIODS OF SNOW MAY CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES.
text of this official advisory can be found via
the link provided below.
128 Extremely Slick...
coming in that FDR 128 is extremely icy and slick.
Several cars are being reported as sliding and
stuck on Railsback Hill. Vehicles with chains are
reported as making the hill without problems. The
remainder of FDR 128 is reported as snowpacked
with no problems.
One vehicle is
now in the ditch on the inside of Railsback Curve
at the bottom of the hill. Eyewitness reports are
that the driver purposely steered his slide into
the ditch to avoid hitting children in the road,
apparently from another stuck vehicle.
advised to use extreme caution if traveling on FDR
128 this morning, with chains and 4WD highly
recommended. Should your vehicle slide and become
stuck, either remain in the vehicle or get as far
away from the road as possible to avoid being
struck by another sliding vehicle. DO NOT STAND IN
THE ROADWAY! No injuries or major accidents have
been reported as of 8AM.
expected to continue throughout the day with
accumulations in excess of 6 inches possible in
some areas. Icing on roadways may become more
prominent as temperatures fall towards evening.
entire community, especially youths, are invited
to share in the celebration and breaking of a
world record for most shovels at a groundbreaking.
The first 2,600 people in attendance will receive
a commemorative shovel for the history-making dig.
The shovels will also be used to help reach the
goal to break the Guinness World Record. People
are also encouraged to bring their own shovels for
youth organizations are excited to have the new
Thomas M. McKee 4-H Youth and Community Building
Ranch, Larimer County Fairgrounds and Events
Complex. The building will allow various
groups in the community to utilize the space for
club meetings, events, and other activities.
The building is scheduled to break ground this
Saturday, March 11 with ground breaking
festivities beginning at 5:30 p.m. at The Ranch.
excited for the 4-H building because the program
finally has a place to call home, said
Brianna Sawyer, District II Secretary and Larimer
County Jr. Leader 4-H Club President. This
is not just a 4-H building, but also a community
building, its beneficial for everyone.
building will be available for a wide variety of
youth community groups and that is good news to
Kelly Moll, District Director for the Longs Peak
Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Kelly
states, The Boy Scouts already use The Ranch
for a variety of events; however having a building
available for youth groups specifically, is great
news for us because it increases our opportunities
while lowering our costs.
received its single largest gift ever when the
McKee Charitable Trust gave $800,000 toward a new
4-H building this past December. McKee was a
farmer, businessman, and philanthropist who wanted
to give back to the people of the City of Loveland
and Larimer County. As part of the gift, the McKee
Trust also wanted other non-profit groups to use
March 9th - Prescribed Burns At Horsetooth MP...
Larimer County Parks and Open Lands Department
staff will conduct slash pile burns March 9
through March 13, at Horsetooth
Mountain Park west of Fort Collins.
pile burns are part of an on-going wildfire
mitigation/forest health project in the Park,
involving mechanical thinning and hand piling tree
limbs and dead material. The slash piles
will be burned when there is at least 3 inches of
snow on the ground to prevent fire spread.
An interagency team of trained firefighters will
conduct the burns in accordance to Larimer County
Burn Permit Regulations.
from the burning piles will be visible from Fort
Collins, Loveland and along the Northern Front
Range. Please do not call 911 or your local law
enforcement, as they are already aware of burns.
If you have any questions, please contact Mark
Caughlan at (970) 498-5600.
Horsetooth Mountain Park Forest Management Project
has been going on since the fall of 2001, and will
continue in the future. Approximately 60
acres along the South park boundary and 20 acres
along the North park boundary have been treated to
date. The purpose of the fuels project
reduce fuel loading to prevent catastrophic
remove trees damaged by insects and disease
restore the area to more natural and healthy
March 8th - Winter Storm Warning...
National Weather Service in Denver has issued a Winter
Storm Warning for the
front range foothills above 6000ft, including
the Drake, Glen Haven and Storm Mountain areas,
through 6PM Wednesday.
WILL BEGIN IN THE EASTERN FOOTHILLS BY AROUND
SUNRISE...AND CONTINUE THROUGH THE AFTERNOON.
SNOWFALL WILL BE HEAVY AT TIMES WITH ACCUMULATIONS
OF 8 TO 12 INCHES. MANY HIGHWAYS WILL BECOME ICY
AND SNOW PACKED. ALL DRIVERS ARE URGED TO EXERCISE
A WINTER STORM
WARNING MEANS HAZARDOUS WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS
ARE IMMINENT OR HIGHLY LIKELY. SIGNIFICANT SNOW
ACCUMULATIONS ARE OCCURRING OR EXPECTED. STRONG
WINDS ARE ALSO POSSIBLE. THIS WILL MAKE TRAVEL
VERY HAZARDOUS OR IMPOSSIBLE.
complete text of this official warning can be found
via the link provided below.
March 7th - A Sincere Thank You...
at Storm Mountain News, on behalf of our area
residents, would like to sincerely thank all of
the firefighters, sheriff's deputies, pilots and
others who came to our aid during the Switchback
addition, a sincere thank you is extended to
Loveland Rural Fire Protection, Glen Haven
Volunteer Fire Department, Storm Mountain
Emergency Response Team, Larimer County Sheriff's
Department, U.S. Forest Service and the individual
residents who came to our community's aid this
weekend. Your service, concern and dedicated
actions are deeply appreciated by all who live
firefighters and community groups such as SMERT
can literally be life savers in these very
dangerous situations. Too often the fire itself
catches all of the attention and these true heroes
go quietly home un-noticed. We want you to know
that your selfless dedication and brave actions do not go
individuals place themselves in harms way to
protect the lives and property of others in
danger. This is often done with limited resources
and equipment. With the government cutting funding
across the board and the threat of a disastrous
fire season ahead, these already limited resources
will likely be spread very thin.
great way for residents and homeowners to say
thank you and express your gratitude to these
invaluable agencies is through contributions and
donations. This citizen funding can help provide
crews with badly needed equipment to better and
more safely fight wildfires. Below is a list of
our local agencies where you can make a difference
and send the best thank you of all, your support.
Flag Warning Issued..
National Weather Service in Denver has issued a Red Flag Warning for the
front range foothills and northeast plains, including
the Drake, Glen Haven and Storm Mountain areas
until 6PM MST on Tuesday evening.
WINDS COMBINED WITH VERY LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITIES
AND DRY FUELS WILL PRODUCE CRITICAL WILDLAND FIRE
CONDITIONS FAVORABLE FOR THE RAPID SPREAD OF
WILDFIRES. WEST WINDS AT SUSTAINED SPEEDS OF 15 TO
25 MPH WITH GUSTS OF 30 TO 40 MPH AND RELATIVE
HUMIDITIES BELOW 15 PERCENT WILL DEVELOP BY LATE
MORNING IN THE AREA COVERED BY THIS WARNING.
EVENING, CRITICAL WILDFIRE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED
TO EASE AS WINDS DECREASE AND RELATIVE HUMIDITIES
A RED FLAG
WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER
CONDITIONS ARE EITHER OCCURRING OR IMMINENT.
PLEASE ADVISE THE APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS AND FIRE
CREWS IN THE FIELD OF THIS RED FLAG WARNING.
complete text of this official warning can be found
via the link provided below.
March 6th - Residents Question County Board
residents in the Storm Mountain area are
questioning the Larimer County Board's recent
decision not to implement a fire ban throughout
February 1st, Sheriff Jim Alderdan stated, "We have also had to consider
the causes of the recent fires. We are
seeing very few campers this time of the year so
there are very few campfires. The campfires
we do see are in permanent grates which are
typically exempt from bans except under the most
serious conditions. The recent fires have
been caused by electrical malfunctions or other
accidental causes. A fire ban would not have
prevented any of these fires."
residents now believe that this weekend's
"Switchback Fire" could possibly have
been prevented had a fire ban been in place. While
there are indeed less campers at this time of
year, it only takes one to start a fire. A fire
ban would also have minimal adverse affects on
tourism at this time of year.
Monday, January 9th, Governor Bill Owens announced a
ban on open fires on all State owned lands below
8000 feet. In addition, the governor urged
county boards throughout the State to issue open
fire bans for their specific counties. Larimer
County Board members decided not to heed the
Governor's warning and did not issue a fire ban
for Larimer County.
a fire ban have prevented the Switchback Fire?
That is impossible to say. No official cause of
the fire has been released and there is no
guarantee that campers would have obeyed the fire
ban had it been in place.
conditions deteriorating and a frightening fire
season forecast, a fire ban throughout Larimer
County is likely to be issued soon.
March 5th - Photo Of The Week...
just before sunrise on Wednesday morning, this
week's photo features the beautiful Comet
Pojmanski rising over Palisade Mountain.
Pojmanski (C2006/A1), is now starting to dim daily but is
still a nice object for binoculars and backyard
telescopes. Pojmanski rises in the east around
3:30am this week, reaching 22° above the horizon
before being lost in the glow of approaching
daylight at around 5:30am.
find Pojmanski look to the east around 4:30am and
find Venus, the brightest object in the sky other
than our sun and moon. Extend your arm and make a
fist. The comet is approximately one fist to the
left and 1/2 fist above Venus (Finder
photos of Comet Pojmanski can be found in our
Pojmanski Gallery via the link provided below.
March 4th -
Fire 3PM Update...
Fire on Storm Mountain is now being reported as
80% contained. FDR 128 is open again to local
Fire crews from
Loveland (LRFP), Glen Haven and the Forest Service are
expected to work into the night mopping up the
blaze and extinguishing hot spots. No evacuations
As of 5pm the Switchback Fire is now reported as
85% contained. Crews are currently working
hotspots in the burn area. High winds are still
blowing and are expected to continue into the
evening. The fire is currently estimated to have
burned approximately 15 acres.
On Storm Mountain...
A large, rapidly
growing wildfire, now officially named the
"Switchback Fire", is currently burning
near Combat Rock on Storm Mountain. As of 12PM
noon, the fire was estimated at 5 to 6 acres in
members of Storm
Mountain Emergency Response Team (S.M.E.R.T.)
have set up a line of volunteers near the top of
the switchbacks. Air support is being called in to
help battle the blaze. A Loveland (LRFP) fire crew is on
scene and working a line along the right flank of
the fire. A staging area has now officially been
set up at the River Forks Stage Stop at the
intersection of Hwy 34 and CO 43.
County Sheriff's have closed FDR 128 and are
stopping residents from going up FDR 128 to
release their animals or gather belongings,
infuriating many local residents. Should the fire
block this road, all residents would be trapped on
the mountain as FDR 128 is the only access and
egress to the area.
High and gusty
winds are feeding the fire which is traveling to
the North-Northeast up Bobcat Gulch. This blaze is
taking an almost identical path as the
"Bobcat Gulch Wildfire" which burned
over 11,000 acres in 2000.
are advised to prepare for possible evacuations in
the Cedar Park and Cedar Springs area. Official
fire info will be posted on this site as it
UPDATE: As of
1:30pm air crews are dropping water on the blaze
slowing the fire's progress. No evacuations have
official cause has been noted, it is highly
suspected to be a result of a campfire as youths
were reported camping in that exact area last
March 1st - Comet Graces Morning Skies...
throughout our area have the opportunity to view
Comet Pojmanski in the eastern sky just before
Pojmanski can be
found in the eastern sky to the left of Venus.
Binoculars or a small telescope will reveal the
fuzzy green head and the impressive tail. The
be visible in our area for the next week or two,
after which it will dim beyond visibility.
(C2006/A1) was discovered on January 1st, 2006 by
Grzegorz Pojmanski of the Warsaw University Astronomical
Observatory, after which the comet was named.
Below are more
photos of Comet Pojmanski taken on Storm Mountain
on Wednesday morning. A finder map can also be