December 21, 2022
Headlines — December 21, 2022 Stacie Johnson
Fire Crews Contain Sunshine Wildland Fire By 65%
Fire crews contained the 19 acre Sunshine Wildland Fire by 65% Tuesday night which prompted Boulder County officials to lift all remaining mandatory evacuation notices. The Daily Camera reports that residents in the Pine Brook Hill neighborhood will remain under an evacuation warning with travel limited to just residents for the road closure at Linden Avenue and Timber Lane.
Officials say the fire that started Monday afternoon at the 2900 block of Sunshine Canyon Drive did destroy the location’s house and damaged another along Bristlecone Way. Investigators have not publicly released information as to what caused the fire. County officials caution that high winds and a red flag warning in effect today could cause the fire to grow again.
Fire crews also addressed another wildland fire late Monday evening that started in a yard near a mulch pile at the 10,000 block of Four mile Canyon Drive.
Crews quickly contained the small, one tenth of an acre fire, which resulted in no property damage.
The Boulder County Sheriff’s office says crews found no suspicious activity related to the fire.
DOJ: Denver Police Violated Civil Rights of Non-English-Speakers
A federal investigation found Denver Police violated the civil rights of people who speak little or no English. The U.S. Department of Justice began investigating interactions between Denver police and non-native English speakers in 2018 following complaints by locals. Denverites were concerned about officers arresting residents in the East Colfax neighborhood who spoke Burmese and Rohingya.
Investigators found that officers often used children or other family members to help translate or did not use interpreters at all. As a result, police were arresting non-proficient speakers without offering them translation accommodations so that they could understand why. The Department of Justice says this is a violation of Title VI  of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Federal officials agreed Monday to a settlement with the Denver Police Department that will require new policies and training on appropriate translation services. Police will no longer be able to use relatives, minors or other bystanders to translate, except in urgent situations. Federal officials also announced a new nationwide initiative to help law enforcement agencies provide language services.
State And Local Agencies Prepare For Extreme Cold Weather Conditions
Boulder County Public Health issued a public health advisory Tuesday because of the arctic front the National Weather Service says will be in the area starting tonight, throughout tomorrow, and into Friday morning.
A winter storm watch is also in effect for tonight. Forecasters say the wind chill could drop as low as minus 30 degrees along the front range with the coldest wind chills occurring over the state’s northeast plains at minus 50.
UCHealth says at minus 5 degrees and wind speed of 30 mph, people can get frostbite in about 10 minutes.
The county health department is asking residents to avoid the outdoors as well as not leave pets outside for extended periods.
Health officials say the dangerous low temperatures and cold wind chills will make children, the elderly, people with disabilities, and those without stable housing more vulnerable to the harsh conditions and are urging residents to make frequent checks on those who may be in harm’s way.
As part of the health advisory, officials are also cautioning residents to avoid using stoves, barbeque grills, or ovens to heat homes as they can create a high risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
In preparation for the arctic blast, Gov. Jared Polis activated more than 100 National Guard members Tuesday to help jurisdictions deal with response, recovery, and mitigation.
For anyone who needs to get warm or spend the night, the City of Boulder, Boulder County, and the Boulder Office of Emergency Management will be operating a 24-hour emergency warming center at the East Boulder Community Center, located at 5660 Sioux Drive, starting today and at 2pm through Saturday morning.
For unhoused residents who need night shelter in Boulder County, organizations expanding their welcome mat are:
Longmont’s Homeless Outreach Providing Encouragement, Boulder’s youth nonprofit Tgthr, and the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. For the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, the Daily Camera reports the critical weather day shelter will be offered Thursday only to individuals who stayed in the shelter overnight and the shelter will not accept walk ups.
Denver officials announced the Denver Coliseum will be open as a 24 hour emergency warming shelter starting today at 3pm. Denver is also activating the city rec centers and libraries as warming centers during their regular operating hours.
Headlines — December 21, 2022 Stacie Johnson