Fire Safety Urged Over Holiday Weekend
As the cool morning air is still settled in the mountain valleys, Leadville skies will appear hazy and perhaps even a bit smoky, at first. But things will clear, and blue skies will usher in a prefect summer day in Leadville Today.
As of the first day of July the only active wildfire in Colorado is the Lightner Creek Fire which is in La Plata County near Durango in the southwest part of the state. However, five other western states are also contending with active wildfires, and shifting and gusting winds could bring some smoke into local skies even at 10,200 feet!
But smoky skies could be just the reminder residents, and especially visitors, need to use extra precautions as the long July 4th weekend comes into focus. Residents should be wary of lighting fireworks this Fourth of July weekend, emergency officials are urging, warning that pyrotechnics could ignite more fires if not used properly.
The weather while perfect for outdoor recreation, however there is not any rain in the forecast for days, only afternoon thunderstorms which always come with lightening putting forests at risk just as easily.
Yesterday, the Lake County Office of Emergency Management (LCOEM) reported a errant campfire from a non-approved fire ring had created a small blaze (see story below) along County Road 48 or what is more commonly known as the road which runs out to below the Sugar Loafin’ Dam, behind the golf course. Fortunately local crews were quickly able to extinguish the fire, thanks to solid training and reports from other people in the area.
It will be a busy weekend. There will be lots of people in town. Please use extra caution and report any emergency situations immediately to authorities.
Campfire from Non-Approved Ring Sets Blaze
The following report was submitted by Lake County Public Information Officer Betty Benson
June 30, 2017 – A fire started in the woods in a non-approved fire ring just west of Hwy 48 today as a result of a camp fire not being fully extinguished. Several nearby campers saw the fire and called 911. Leadville/Lake County Fire Rescue arrived on scene to find the fire had spread to about 10’ x 50’ and they were quickly able to apply a wet line all around it and then extinguish it with additional water.
The mop-up efforts included shoveling the area to ensure there were no remaining flames or embers before the fire crew left. The Leadville/Lake County Fire Rescue crew were assisted by Lake County Sheriff Deputies and Forest Service personnel. The US Forest Service has deployed 2 crews to patrol the Lake County US Forest Service area over the next several weeks due to the high fire danger. The Office of Emergency Management and all fire responders ask that everyone are diligent when in the forest. Never leave a fire unattended; be sure it is 100% out before leaving a fire, If you start a fire in a fire pit be sure you have water and shovels handy. Everything is very dry.
Leadville Cemetery Restoration Work Continues
Last weekend, June 24 & 25, Rabbi Sara Gilbert of Greeley’s Beth Israel Congregation led Shabbat service as well as the clean up efforts at the Jewish Cemetery at the Evergreen Cemetery in Leadville. Every year, the group which includes the volunteers from across Colorado gathers to share their faith, learn local Jewish history and provide a great community service with the Annual Leadville Jewish Cemetery Clean Up.
“The discovery of silver caused Leadville’s population to grow to approximately 30,000 residents about 300 of which were Jews,” stated the historic handout distributed at the event. In 1880, the Hebrew benevolent society established the Hebrew cemetery adjacent to the newly established Evergreen Cemetery. Then in 1884, the land for the Temple Israel sold for $1 to the Congregation Israel by Horace Tabor and was built ten years later in 1894.
An electrical fire in 2006 prompted the synagogue’s full restoration and the project was completed two years later.
The eager volunteers for the 21st Annual Leadville Jewish Cemetery Clean Up come from all across the state and the region, some from as far away as Arizona. The do-gooders of all ages, socialized and worked together resulting in an outstanding community effort as more and more people showed up throughout the weekend.
A little more about the cemetery, according to organizers the Jewish community first required space for the dedicated Jewish Cemetery with the passing of Gustave “Fred” Jelenko in June 1879. He was settled into the southwest corner of the newly established Evergreen Cemetery.
At the end of the day, reflecting on the group’s improvements everyone agreed how awesome it was to bring so many people from different parts of the Colorado, sharing in one goal: to give back to the people that no longer can and to respect the history.
Leadville is such a rich town filled with endless history, to learn more about its Jewish heritage connect at the Temple Israel website. or visit the synagogue at the corner of W. 4th Street and Pine. Thanks to all the volunteers who gave their time to make Leadville a better place to live and visit!