There was a brush fire in Mesa County near Grand Junction on the 4th, that started burning out of control…

Authorities say there were several evacuations near that fire. It was started by kids shooting off illegal fireworks, according to the Mesa Sheriff’s Office. Investigators say when some of the fireworks touched off the flames near Skyway Drive and Vista Grande Road west of the Colorado River, there were heavy winds blowing across the county, that immediately fanned the fire, pushing it to within 50 feet of some homes. A helicopter was brought in to drop water on the blaze, and ground crews put up a “wet line” as well. Evacuees along Grand Junction’s Riverview Drive were allowed to go back to their homes around 6:30 last evening.
A western Colorado coroner says a sheriff’s deputy who was the subject of a three-day search last week died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Searchers found the body of 26-year-old Tayler Esslinger in his truck on June 28 in Garfield County. A Colorado National Guard helicopter crew had spotted his vehicle. Esslinger was an Eagle County deputy and spent 12 years as a volunteer firefighter with the Gypsum Fire Protection District.