The child who died Monday after a fall on the Hanging Lake Trail was an 8-year-old boy, not 9 as we originally reported, according to Garfield County Coroner Robert Glassmire. He says the child had apparently been walking over some rocks near the Sprouting Rock waterfall. Witnesses who were essentially his family members say he slipped and fell, suffering significant cuts and his head striking a rock. The witnesses started CPR right away, and that was continued for about an hour and a half as first responders got there, but the boy could not be revived. He was pronounced dead shortly after 6 Monday evening. Garfield Search & Rescue responders helped bring the body down the trail. An autopsy was to be done in Glenwood Springs Tuesday. The coroner adds in an email to the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, the boy had been from the front range. His family’s requested his name not be released until his parents can notify members of their extended family.
Garfield Search & Rescue and other agencies had just finished up a successful swift-water rescue on the Roaring Fork River when they were called out to the scene of that child’s fall Monday. And they’re geared up, fully prepared for more rescues on area streams in the coming days. One of the highest-flowing, that some would call “fun” and could easily become more like “dangerous” very quickly, is the Roaring Fork River. Releases of more water into it began overnight, with as much as 625 cubic feet per second that normally goes to Twin Lakes on the other side of Independence Pass going into the river instead. Pitkin County emergency officials say fortunately, the Twin Lakes Canal Company will be gradually releasing that water, not putting it all out at one time. But by tomorrow, it’ll be visibly a lot higher, flowing at around a thousand cfs, right through Aspen, and even higher downvalley. The experts aren’t so much worried about flooding, but again, about safety. Even in a designated place, like Basalt’s Whitewater Park, some kayakers are running into too much water. Some spots that are normally Class II in difficulty are becoming III’s & IV’s, according to officials, and pretty experienced boaters are having their crafts flipped over. Fire Chiefs and other responders are emphasizing, if you’re not a VERY experienced boater, please stay off the rivers until they recede at least a bit, or go out with a professional guide company.
We’ve told you a little about some of those wildfires burning across northwest Colorado… the gigantic one now is the Dead Dog Fire some 10 miles north of Rangely, that wasn’t contained at all on Sunday but had burned only about 40 acres, had blown up to almost a thousand acres Monday, and had hugely expanded to more than 17,000 acres by late Tuesday. It’s not contained at all… 0%. The fire areas are all northwest of us, but it’s still dry, even around here. So please be extra careful with anything outside that burns.
In our area, gusty winds blew down an electrical line at the Ranch at Roaring Fork golf course Monday. That touched off a little bit of a fire, but it was quickly put out, despite smoke becoming visible to drivers on Highway 82. Golf course workers got the flames extinguished before a pair of engines from the Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District and Basalt Fire Department could get there.
Why were a bunch of folks sickened after attending the Rifle Rodeo and eating there last week? Looks like some things were a little lax. Like– food inspections. Garfield County public health says it didn’t know about the event, or wasn’t told by the organizers. Therefore, the usual inspections that keep you safe because they’re required at any place the public eats, weren’t done. Dozens who attended got sick, but for most it cleared up after about a day and a half. Public health has ruled out salmonella as the cause, along with hepatitis, E. Coli, and air and water borne diseases as the cause, but still don’t know exactly what happened. Turns out that rodeo was some kind of “privately organized” event, and those organizers didn’t tell the county it was happening, so the normal licensing of food vendors didn’t happen. Garfield and Pitkin County authorities assure you, however, that with a couple of the valley’s biggest events of any summer– Strawberry Days in Glenwood Springs and the Food & Wine Magazine Classic in Aspen– coming up this weekend, that won’t be a problem. Every vendor will be inspected for cleanliness and licensed long before you ever get there.
Also aimed at preventing you from getting sick, or letting you know if you are, it’s the Aspen Valley Hospital Health Fair this week. There’ll be free and paid screenings and tests available 8:30 ‘til 11:30 Thursday and Sunday mornings at the hospital itself, and Saturday at the El Jebel or Eagle County Community Center. Sign up on the web at aspen hospital dot org, slash health, dash fairs. You can pay for your tests when you get to the hospital or community center on the actual day. We’ll be reminding you the rest of the week on the Community Desk, here on The Mammoth.
If you missed some of our stories or just want to read them for yourself, they’re all posted at ksno dot net. I’m Jim Williams, KSNO News. There’s more of the Morning Roundabout, including Meteorologist Don Day’s complete extended forecast, on the way next.