Tuesday, June 30, 2020

30th Annual Independence Monument Climb on 4th of July

Climbers at the top of  Independence Monument
Climbers at the top of 
Independence Monument
MESA COUNTY, Colo –  The Mesa County Search and Rescue Technical Rescue Team is gearing up for their 30th annual climb up Independence Monument to raise the American Flag. This continues a tradition started by Colorado National Monument founder John Otto in 1911. There are 12 climbers participating in this year’s event: 6 Search and Rescue volunteers will be accompanied by 6 guest climbers. Four of the guest climbers this year are members of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office.

Once the American Flag is placed, it will remain atop Independence Monument for about a week for people to view.

Along with the celebration of our nation’s freedom, all donations from this event will go towards the purchasing of equipment and training for Mesa County Search and Rescue Team. Learn more about Mesa County Search and Rescue. 


How to watch

Flag and climbers on Independence Monument
View of climbers from 
Independence Monument View
The team hikes to the base of Independence Monument and begins climbing early in the morning. Once everyone reaches the top, they will raise the American flag. Depending on how fast they climb, the flag-raising will take place on top of Independence Monument approximately between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. on July 4th.

The best viewing opportunities to see this traditional July 4th event in the Colorado National Monument are:
  • Independence Monument View
  • The end of Otto’s Trail 
  • Grand View
Independence Monument
If these parking areas are full, come back later. Often people only view the portion of the climb. The entire climb lasts most of the day, and the flag will be available to view about a week after it is placed. 

There is very little shade. It's recommended to bring lots of water, sunscreen and binoculars to view the event.

Please keep in mind the entry fee for the Colorado National Monument is $25 per vehicle. Colorado National Monument annual passes and America the Beautiful Passes are also honored. 

Please be mindful of social distancing and wear cloth masks where appropriate.

 


Thursday, June 25, 2020

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions begin June 26th, 2020

MESA COUNTY, Colo - The Mesa County Sheriff, the Bureau of Land Management and the Fire Chiefs representing municipalities and fire protection districts of Mesa County are implementing Stage 1 Fire Restrictions effective at 12:01 a.m. Friday, June 26th, 2020. This applies to all of Mesa County including BLM land with the EXCEPTION of land managed by the U.S. Forest Service. 

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions prohibit:
  • Personal use of fireworks
  • Campfires outside of designated fire pits or fire rings
  • Agricultural open burning without a Sheriff’s issued burn permit
  • Use of explosive targets
  • Smoking outside near combustible materials.
“We don’t make this decision without thoughtful consideration. We look at the data, the potential for significant wildfires and balance it with the impacts to our community,” said Mesa County Sheriff Matt Lewis. “I’m concerned with the level of fire danger we are seeing, one spark could quickly spread into a dangerous wildfire threatening lives, property and natural resources.”

Fire restrictions are implemented based on specific criteria to include moisture content of vegetation, weather outlooks, human risk factors and firefighting resource availability. It’s been hot, dry, and unseasonably windy. So far this year, we’ve had 15 Red Flag Warnings which is more than what we typically see over an entire year. The National Weather Service is forecasting above average temperatures and dry conditions with no relief from rain anytime soon.

“It’s important to recognize the inherent fire danger associated with the current weather conditions within our city and do everything that we can as a community to reduce the human causes of brush and wildland fires," said Grand Junction Fire Chief Ken Watkins.

With increasingly dry vegetation, severe drought conditions, and Fourth of July celebrations approaching, the danger for human caused wildfires increases even more.

"We are starting to see more human caused fires. The recent hot and dry conditions and no forecast for significant moisture in the next few weeks pose greater fire risk. We want everyone to be cautious on the upcoming holiday weekend while enjoying their public lands." stated Grand Junction Field Manager Greg Wolfgang.

What Stage I Fire Restrictions Mean

Fireworks are not allowed under Stage I Fire Restrictions. Professional fireworks shows may be allowed through the permitting process.

Campfires are ONLY allowed in designated fire pits or fire rings.

Smoking in open areas is not allowed EXCEPT within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area of at least six feet diameter that is barren or cleared of all combustible material.

While the restrictions do not impact most shooting sports, explosive targets are prohibited.

Open Burning

The open burning of yard waste or fields is prohibited EXCEPT for agricultural burns with a Sheriff Issued Burn Permit. The Sheriff’s Fire Marshal will conduct an onsite inspection of each planned burn BEFORE a Permit is issued to ensure all safety precautions are met. If they are not met, and conditions do not allow for a safe burn a permit will NOT be issued and any agricultural burn will be in violation of the fire restrictions in place. Applications for a Sheriff issued burn permit can be found here.

Penalties

Causing a fire during fire restrictions can be a class 6 felony and can be punishable by fines up to $100,000 and/or imprisonment up to 18 months. Other possible charges include Fourth Degree Arson (M2) and Intentionally Setting a Wildfire (F3). You may also be held financially responsible for damage caused.

Federal Lands

The use of fireworks, flares, or other incendiary devices, including exploding targets, are always prohibited on federal lands. Wood fires are never permitted anywhere on the Colorado National Monument.

View Interactive Fire Restrictions Map at bit.ly/Fire_Restrictions


Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Public comment sought on Mesa County's Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan

The Mesa County Office of Emergency Management is inviting the public to review and comment on the 2020 revision of Mesa County's Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan. The public is encouraged to review, comment, and provide input as part of the planning process for this important plan update.

The purpose of Mesa County's Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan is to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from natural hazards. Having a current plan makes participating agencies eligible for Federal Disaster Mitigation grant funds. The Mesa County Hazard Mitigation Plan is reviewed and updated every five years. This public comment period is to update the 2015 plan.

The public comment period is now underway. The public is invited to participate in the planning process in two ways:
  • Review and comment on Mesa County's Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan
  • Participate in the Public Hazard Perception Survey
    • Available online at bit.ly/Hazard_Survey
    • The public hazard perception survey helps emergency planners understand how hazards are perceived in our community. The information gathered from this survey will be included in the 2020 revision of Mesa County's Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan.

Comments may be submitted electronically through the Public Hazard Perception Survey available at bit.ly/Hazard_Survey or by mail be submitted by mail 215 Rice Street, Grand Junction, CO 81502.

Questions and requests for hard copies may be directed to the Emergency Manager at (970) 244-1763.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Body found in a canal

MESA COUNTY, Colo – This morning at approximately 8:00, an employee with the Orchard Mesa Irrigation District discovered a body in the canal near 38 road in Palisade.

The body is of an adult male. The Mesa County Coroner’s Office is working to identify the person and determine cause and manner of death. They are responsible for releasing the person’s name once next of kin is notified.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is investigating.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Wanted: Grand Junction man for recent crime spree


Dylan McDorman, 20
MCSO Photo 7-4-19
MESA COUNTY, Colo The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s assistance in locating a individual believed to be responsible for numerous property crimes in our community.

Dylan McDorman, 20, of Grand Junction currently has a total of 5 warrants for his arrest from multiple law enforcement agencies.

McDorman is believed to be involved in recent auto thefts and theft from autos spanning multiple jurisdictions on the Western Slope.

McDorman is described as a 20-year-old white male, 6’2”, weighing 175 pounds with blue eyes and blonde hair. He is believed to be armed and dangerous and has run from law enforcement in the past.

If seen, please call 911 immediately. If you have information about his whereabouts or about these crimes please contact the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office at (970) 242-6707.