Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Community Input/Open House Scheduled at Downtown Durango Fire Station

We would like to invite our community to attend an Open House at our current Downtown Fire Station at River City Hall - which is located next to the Power House Science Center  ( 1235 Camino Del Rio).  The open house is scheduled for Tuesday June 13th from 6pm - 8pm.  At the open house we will be presenting plans, including proposed locations and designs, for the construction of a Downtown Fire Station which will replace and upgrade the functionality of our current Station 2.  We have narrowed the search to three possible locations and would like to present these locations and receive input on which one would better serve our community.

Attending the open house will be representatives of CDOT, Durango City Council, The Durango Fire Protection District Board of Directors, and City and Fire Department Staff Members - who will be available to discuss the proposed locations and answer questions.  Tours of the current Downtown Fire Station will also be available all evening long.

Durango Fire Protection District is currently housed in the River City Hall location which was pressed into service as a fire station in 1983 as a temporary location until a more permanent solution could be found.  Since that time, the call volume for our downtown district has grown from 719 calls annually to 2273 in 2016.  The current Station presents significant challenges for the Fire District due space limitations, age and disrepair of the building, and design challenges since it was not built to house a fire station. We invite all community members who are interested to come down and be a part of the conversation, and provide your thoughts on the best location for a new Downtown Fire Station.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Durango Herald: Durango crew deploys to Georgia to combat wildfire

Expert with DFPD believes fire could burn throughout the summer
Ar 170519536
One of Durango Fire Protection District’s seasonal wildland crews was deployed to Georgia on Thursday to the West Mims fire. The crew includes Engine Boss Allen Ottman, Engine Operator Adi Miller and firefighters Sean Ratzmann and Nate Murano.

From CDOT: CDOT Encourages Bicyclists to be Safe in Work Zones

CONTACT:  Lisa Schwantes, Region 5 Communications Manager
970.385.1428 office | 970.749.2015 mobile |

May 18, 2017

CDOT Encourages Bicyclists to be Safe in Work Zones
Rules of the Road Apply to All

SW and S-CENTRAL COLORADO – With bicycle tours and race events slated for many communities across the region, cyclists have taken to area roads for training. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) reminds bicyclists that they must follow the same traffic laws that motorized vehicles are required to obey. Recent incidents, observed by traffic control personnel within several construction projects, has prompted CDOT to issue the warning.

Bicyclists have been reported riding through work zones when traffic was stopped, in order to avoid the short traffic delays required from time to time in the course of construction activity.

“This endangers both the bicyclists and the construction workers,” said Jo Heinlein, CDOT Traffic and Safety Program Manager, “When traffic stops are enforced, that means workers and equipment need space and time to carry out the activity of the construction site. These stops are typically short in duration.”

When traffic is stopped by a flagger in either direction, the bicyclists must also stop. When traffic is released, the motorized vehicles will be released first, and any bicyclists in the queue will follow at the very rear of the queue. This is the fastest, safest, and most efficient way to get both cars and bicycles through the work zone.

STATE LAW ― Bicyclists are reminded that it is written in Colorado State Law (42-4-1412) that “Every person riding a bicycle … shall have all of the rights and duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle…riders shall comply with the rules set forth… when using streets and highways within incorporated cities and towns…” For more information about Colorado’s bicycling laws, visit  

CDOT RESOURCES ― For a range of information and resources for bicyclists, visit Click on: Programs > Bicycle and Pedestrian > Information for Bicyclists > Safety Information & Resources for Bicyclists.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Colorado Fiscal Institute: This new video (Feb 13) explains the interaction between the TABOR and Gallagher amendments in Colorado.

The Colorado Fiscal Institute produced this new video (Feb 13) to explain the interaction between two constitutional amendments in Colorado (TABOR and Gallagher).  
The video also explains why home owners will see a property tax break while at the same time Colorado's fire departments are being faced with making budget cuts. 
Ms. Carol Hedges, Director, Colorado Fiscal Institute will be speaking on this subject at tomorrow’s Colorado Fire Service Critical Issues Briefing.

CDPHE: MUMPS ALERT Important Notice to Parents and Guardians


Important Notice to Parents and Guardians
February 10, 2017

The school administration would like to inform you about an increase in mumps cases in Colorado. As of February 8, there have been 27 cases of mumps in Colorado, and this number is expected to grow. In order to minimize the spread of mumps in schools, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has asked us to provide the following information.

Mumps is a viral infection that causes painful swelling of one or more salivary glands, a low-grade fever, and headache. Typically, persons with mumps have swelling of the parotid gland located in the cheek area near the ear and at the back angle of the jaw. Some people with mumps infection will have no symptoms at all. Severe complications from mumps are rare, but can include swelling of the brain, inflammation of the ovaries or testicles, or deafness.

Mumps is spread by coughing and sneezing or direct contact with the saliva of an infected person, such as by sharing cups or eating utensils. Symptoms of mumps usually develop 16 to 18 days after being around someone with mumps. People infected with mumps can spread the virus from 2 days before through 5 days after gland swelling develops.

Please contact your child’s healthcare provider if your child develops any swelling of the glands around the ears or neck. If the health care provider thinks your child has mumps, he/she can be tested for mumps and must stay home for 5 days after gland swelling begins.

All students (kindergarten through 12th grade) are required to have two valid doses of Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine for school entry, unless a vaccine exemption has been filed. MMR vaccine is usually given at 12-15 months of age with another dose given at school entry (4-6 years of age). Persons born prior to 1957 probably had mumps disease and are likely immune to mumps.

Please review your child’s immunization record to make sure your child has the right number of valid MMR vaccinations (1 vaccine if in pre-school and 2 vaccines if in kindergarten through college). If you need assistance locating your child’s immunization record, contact your healthcare provider or call the Colorado Immunization Information System at 303-692-2437 or 1-888-611-9918. Contact your child’s health care provider or local health department if your child needs an MMR vaccination.

People who have received two doses of the MMR vaccine are about nine times less likely to get mumps than unvaccinated people when exposed to mumps. However, some people who receive two doses of MMR can still get mumps, especially if they have prolonged, close contact with someone who has the disease. If a vaccinated person does get mumps, they usually have less severe illness than an unvaccinated person.

If mumps affects your school and your child is not appropriately vaccinated, he/she could be excluded from school for 25 or more days depending on how many people have mumps at the school.
Dedicated to protecting and improving the health and environment of the people of Colorado

4300 Cherry Creek Drive S., Denver, CO 80246-1530 P 303-692-2000
John W. Hickenlooper, Governor | Larry Wolk, MD, MSPH, Executive Director and Chief Medical Officer

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

CDOT: US 550 Passes to Remain Closed Overnight

Contact:  Lisa Schwantes, Region 5 Communications Manager
970.385.1428 office /970.749.2015 mobile

January 23, 2017
4:30 p.m.

US 550 Passes to Remain Closed Overnight

SW COLORADO – Heavy snowfall and high winds have caused the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to maintain the closure of US Highway (US) 550 Red Mountain Pass north of Durango until further notice. The closure includes all three mountain passes: Red Mountain, Molas and Coal Bank, from Cascade, just north of Purgatory Ski Resort, to the town of Ouray. The adverse weather and high avalanche danger have created unsafe driving conditions for the traveling public.

Crews will attempt avalanche control work and snow removal operations Tuesday morning if weather conditions and visibility allow.

STAY INFORMED: Road and weather conditions are available by dialing 511, 303-639-1111, or visiting Also available on the COtrip site are:
·         Cameras
·         Travel Alerts 
·         Weather Stations
·         Snow Plow Tracker
·         Speed Map
·         Bustang
·         Express Lanes

To sign up to receive project information and/or lane closure updates on state highways in the area of your choice, visit CDOT’s website at and choose the envelope icon at the bottom of the page. Or, to see CDOT’s lane closure reports for projects statewide, visit

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

CDOT: Avalanche Hazards and Mitigation Statewide

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January 10, 2017, 5:00 p.m.

CONTACT: Amy Ford, Director of Communications
Stacia Sellers, Region 1 Communications Specialist
Bob Wilson, Region 1 Communications Manager
Tracy Trulove, Region 3 Communications Manager
Lisa Schwantes, Region 5 Communications Manager

Avalanche Hazards and Mitigation Statewide

STATEWIDE- Due to heavy snow and high wind gusts, and in the interest of public safety, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has conducted both planned and unplanned avalanche mitigation work on several mountain passes across the state today and is listing other passes as avalanche hazards. Mitigation work is expected to continue through tomorrow as the next storm front moves into the state.

Southwest/South-Central Colorado
The next winter storm front will hit the southwest region of the state tonight and tomorrow (Wednesday) and will last through Friday. Adverse conditions are expected, especially in the high country. The anticipated storm has CDOT maintenance crews and CAIC (Colorado Avalanche Information Center) forecasters preparing for additional snowslide mitigation operations throughout the week and weekend.

  • US 550 Molas and Coal Bank Passes: Molas and Coal Bank Passes are open with traction law (code 15) in effect for passenger vehicles and chain law (code 18) in effect for all commercial vehicles. Avalanche control work began at 7:00 a.m. and crews worked to clear snow and debris from the highway until 3:00 p.m. when the passes were opened. Yesterday a snow slide was triggered by a backcountry skier between these two passes. Snow, eight feet deep, covered 200 feet of the roadway. Molas and Coal Bank passes are located between the communities of Durango and Silverton.
  • US 550 Red Mountain Pass: Red Mountain Pass remains closed at this time. Avalanche control and snow clearing operations are taking place now through the remainder of the day. Operations are expected to continue through tomorrow (Wednesday.) The area has seen natural slides and very adverse weather conditions, making operations difficult for crews. There is no estimated time of opening. Red Mountain Pass is located between the communities of Silverton and Ouray.
  • CO 145 Lizard Head Pass: Lizard Head pass is currently open. Crews completed avalanche control work this morning at approx 11:30 a.m.This pass is located just south of Telluride.
  • US 50 Monarch Pass: Monarch Pass is open with traction law (code 15) in effect for passenger vehicles and chain law (code 18) in effect for all commercial vehicles. Crews completed avalanche control work on Monarch Pass at approx 10:30 this morning. However, the pass did not open until about 1:00 p.m. because of adverse road conditions and additional snow clearing operations. Monarch Pass is located west of Poncha Springs/Salida.
  • US 160 Wolf Creek Pass:  Wolf Creek Pass is open with chain law (code 18) in effect for all commercial vehicles. The pass will close tomorrow morning for avalanche control operations, Wednesday, Jan. 11, from 6:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. The east side of the pass will remain open from South Fork to the Ski Area. Wolf Creek Pass is located east of Pagosa Springs.

I-70 Corridor: 
Natural avalanche slides have been reported along I-70.  

Berthoud Pass
Crews conducted avalanche mitigation early this morning, which caused a significant amount of snow to cover the roadway. While crews were working, several smaller natural slides occurred on Berthoud Pass, showing that the pass was unstable and could not be opened back up to motorists. Currently, avalanche mitigation is being conducted on the 80s on Berthoud Pass. The pass is anticipated to open tonight once it is deemed safe for motorists.  

Loveland Pass
Loveland Pass remains closed today, January 10, due to adverse weather conditions. Crews are planning on conducting avalanche mitigation work early tomorrow morning, weather dependent, and will then determine if the pass is safe to open.

I-70: Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnel to Silverthorne
At about, 10:30 a.m. crews conducted avalanche control work, just west of the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial tunnel. Crews mitigated the lower slides near the tunnel, which caused about eight to 10 feet of snow and debris to cover the east and westbound lanes of I-70.

Silverthorne to Vail Pass
Around 3:30 a.m. this morning, a natural slide occurred on Vail Pass trapping one semi-truck and effecting two others on the fringe of the slide. No injuries were reported. The slide measured about 15 feet in some sections and covered both the westbound and eastbound lanes.

Northwest Colorado
  • Avalanche control work was conducted on CO 65 Grand Mesa and saw significant runs on the slide paths at that location.  Crews are continuing clean up in the area.
  • CO 133 is now open but crews will be keeping an eye on the conditions through the night and mitigation could still be a possibility.

For pictures of January 10's avalanche control work statewide, visit:
Our partners at Colorado State Patrol share the following tips to keep you safe:
  • If you are involved in a crash, stay in your vehicle and keep your seatbelt buckled, call 911 and wait for CSP, local law enforcement or Emergency Management professionals to arrive.
  • Many crashes could be avoided if motorists SLOW DOWN, use caution and drive for the conditions. Slowing down allows you the opportunity to react to changing conditions.  Always drive with your view to the front of the hood so you’re prepared to react as needed and leave plenty of space between you and the vehicle ahead of you.
AVOID A FINE!  Both passenger and commercial motorists should be aware of the state of Colorado’s traction and chain laws which are implemented when conditions require it.  When either law is in effect, highway signage will be activated. Without proper equipment, motorists can be fined $130. If your vehicle blocks the roadway, you could be fined more than $650.
Passenger vehicles:
  • Traction Law (Code 15) — Motorists will need snow tires, tires with mud/snow (M/S) designation, or a four-wheel drive vehicle — all tires must have a minimum one-eighth inch tread.
  • Passenger Vehicle Chain Law (Code 16) — Every vehicle on the roadway must have chains or an alternative traction device (like AutoSock).
Commercial vehicles:
Commercial Chain Law (Code 18) — All commercial vehicles must chain up. Code 18 may be implemented any time there is snow covering the pavement on an ascending grade and to minimize road closures.

CDOT is reminding motorists to consult the department’s traveler information tools:

  • Visit to view road conditions, travel alerts and track our snow plows;
  • Call 511 anywhere in Colorado for periodically updated road conditions;
  • Sign up for GovDelivery alerts;
  • Follow CDOT on Twitter and Facebook (though the latter will not provide the most up-to-date news and conditions).