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Larimer County News Release

Mosquito Numbers Continue To Rise

Monday August 28th - Culex Mosquito Numbers Continue To Rise...

In the last week, the chances of getting bitten by a West Nile virus-infected mosquito have been higher than at any time in 2004 or 2005, according to Larimer County’s West Nile virus educator, Mike Doyle.

Doyle explains that in the last week more mosquito samples have tested positive for carrying West Nile virus in Fort Collins and Loveland than they have since the West Nile virus epidemic of 2003.

“We know that West Nile will resurface strongly in some years,” said Doyle, “Though this year isn’t nearly as bad as 2003 so far, we shouldn’t mistake low numbers of mosquitoes for having low risk of infection. Actually it’s quite the opposite right now.”

According to data from the County’s mosquito surveillance contractor and the Centers for Disease Control in Fort Collins, aggressive nuisance mosquito populations are dropping fast, but the number of Culex mosquitoes is near the highest it’s been all year - and many of those are infected with West Nile virus.

“Our natural instinct is to look at the number of human cases, but that is not useful for determining our risk right now,” cautions Doyle. “This is because it’s often several weeks to a month between the day an infected mosquito bites someone and the day the infection is reported to the health department.  On the other hand, our ‘mosquito sentinels’ can give us information far more quickly, from just last week.”

Parts of Fort Collins present more risk of being bitten by a Culex mosquito than others - Fossil Creek area and Old Town Fort Collins are the highest risk areas in the city.  Most of Loveland, except the Northwest quadrant, continues to show an elevated risk of infected mosquitoes.

 “We have also trapped positive mosquitoes in outlying towns such as Berthoud, Timnath and LaPorte,” said Doyle.

“We need to make repellent use, removal of standing water, and anti-mosquito landscaping practices just a normal part of life on the Front Range from now on.”

For more information about West Nile virus prevention, visit or call Larimer County Department of Health and Environment at 498-6752.  To see detailed and updated maps with locations of mosquito populations and positive samples, visit Larimer County West Nile webpage at

Additional Data :

  • So far this year, 54 mosquito samples from Loveland and Fort Collins have tested positive, compared to 1 in 2004, 3 in 2005, and 108 in 2003.
  • The percentage of mosquitoes carrying West Nile is two and a half times lower than at this time in 2003.
  • Some parts of the County are showing West Nile infection rates in some types of mosquitoes as high as 1 in 27.  Specifically, approximately 1 in 27 Culex tarsalis mosquitoes caught in Southwest Loveland between August 14 and 18 were infected with WNV. 
  • 2 out of 3 mosquitoes caught this week in Larimer County were the type that can carry West Nile Virus.

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Looking East along Crosier Mountain Trail

Looking East along Crosier Mountain Trail

Sunday August 27th - Photo Of The Week...

This week's photo features one of more beautiful, yet less traveled trails in our area, the Crosier Mountain Trail.

The Crosier Mountain Trail is easily accessed via one of three trailheads located on CO 43 (Devil's Gulch Road) between Drake and Glen Haven. This part of Colorado is always a pleasure to visit during hiking season. As we all need to get out in nature once in a while, the Crosier Mountain Trail is a good choice. Not far from Fort Collins & Loveland, you will find hiking along this trail is very enjoyable.

Crosier Mountain is a year-round destination for northern Colorado hikers with the summit providing gorgeous views of Longs Peak and the eastern skyline of Rocky Mountain National Park.

During the summer, take plenty of water to drink as Crosier Mountain is dry. The trails climb steeply in many locations. No matter which trailhead you use, you're in for a moderate to strenuous hike.

If you hike the Crosier Mountain Trail during the winter, be prepared for snow and ice on the trail. Take a good topographical map, just in case you become disoriented when crossing over ridges or through valleys. In some places, snow can, and will, obscure the trail.

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Wilson Avenue near Eisenhower

Wilson Ave near Eisenhower at 6pm

Friday August 25th - Heavy Afternoon Rains Flood Loveland Streets...

A late afternoon thunderstorm brought heavy rains to the area, substantially flooding the streets in some parts of Loveland around 6:00pm on Friday evening.

The storm drifted off the front range foothills around 5:30pm, growing in intensity, and was reported as dropping rain at rates up to 2" per hour by the time it reached Loveland. 

Rush hour commuters battled flood waters in some sections of town where the streets looked more like rivers. Water depths approaching two feet were reported in the area of Wilson and Eisenhower, a major intersection.

A flash flood warning for the area expired at 7:45pm. No injuries as a result of the storm or flooding have been reported.

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Larimer County Sheriff's Department News Release

Baby Faith - 10 years ago today

Thursday August 24th - Baby Faith - God Loves You...

"BABY FAITH - GOD LOVES YOU", is the inscription found on a flat head stone in a quiet corner of a Fort Collins cemetery.  This head stone marks the grave of an unidentified homicide victim, a newborn Caucasian girl, who was born alive on August 22, 1996, and found in the waters of Horsetooth Reservoir on August 24, 1996, 10 years ago today.

Around 5:30 P.M. on August 24, 1996, two young Fort Collins boys who were wading along the shoreline of Horsetooth Reservoir at the north end of Dixon Dam found a plastic bag floating just under the surface.  They soon discovered it contained the body of a newborn baby and authorities were called to the scene.

Because she was born alive, her death is considered a homicide.  The investigation was unsuccessful in determining the identity of the infant or the identity of the mother.  As a result, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office named her Baby Faith and made arrangements for her burial in a local cemetery.  Community members worked with the Sheriff’s Office and donated the gravesite and the head stone and many attended a memorial service held for Baby Faith at Timberline Church here in Fort Collins.

Despite a media supported effort to locate anyone with information about Baby Faith and her death, no one came forward to reveal her identity.  She is still known only as Baby Faith.

At the same time in 1996, Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office investigated the recovery of a newborn girl found floating in the Arkansas River below the Pueblo Reservoir.  Larimer County and Pueblo County authorities worked together due to the similarity of the cases which occurred at the same time.  To date, their newborn girl, known as Baby Hope, also remains unidentified.  Recently, Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office contacted the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division to make plans to resubmit evidence for DNA analysis.  Their hope is that modern DNA analysis and comparisons with national databases may aid in the identification of both girls.  Early comparisons did not link the two babies.

The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office again asks the public for help in this sad case.  If anyone has information that may help identify Baby Faith, please contact Lt. Andy Josey of the LCSO Investigations Division at 970-498-5161 or via email at  Anonymous information can be shared through Larimer County’s Crimestoppers program at 970-221-6868 or  Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office can be contacted at 719-583-6400 if anyone can identify Baby Hope.

For those who wish to visit Baby Faith, she rests in the northeast corner of the Garden of The Christus section of Roselawn Cemetery at 2718 East Mulberry, Fort Collins.

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