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Local news briefs

A wildfire Thursday evening at the Sunlight View subdivision up Four-Mile Road appears to have been human-caused, Glenwood Springs Fire Chief Mike Piper said Friday.Piper said he hadn’t had the chance to talk in detail with Capt. Gary Tillotson, who was at the scene of the fire Thursday. But he said Tillotson had indicated that youths might have been involved in starting it.The fire ignited in a gully between homes and burned about three-quarters of an acre. Neighbors arriving home from work helped fight it with garden hoses while firefighting crews were en route to the scene.The wildfire had begun to ignite a small portion of a shake shingle roof on one home but firefighters noticed it and put it out. No other damage to structures occurred.Piper said if youths were involved in starting the fire, a decision on what level of criminal prosecution might occur probably would depend on their ages. He said the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office also is looking into the case.Initial reports had been that the fire was caused by a controlled burn that went out of control, but that turned out to be unfounded.Piper said his department will continue to issue permits for controlled burns until the end of the month. However, as in past years, it will stop allowing them beginning May 1 because of concerns that drying vegetation and winds could cause fires to go out of control.

Body found Thursday believed to be victim of suicideGarfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario confirmed Friday that a body was discovered in a turnout on the side of 245 Road between Buford and New Castle. Vallario said the death is believed to be a suicide. The man was a New Castle resident. The death occurred between 10 a.m. and noon Thursday, based on witness sightings of the man’s vehicle. He was found with a single gunshot wound to the head, Vallario said, and no foul play is suspected in the incident.

A smoky haze in the Colorado River Valley in western Garfield County Friday evening was a result of a controlled burn, not a wildfire.The fire was taking place outside the county, an emergency dispatcher in Rifle said Friday.The Bureau of Land Management was conducting a prescribed burn near Collbran, but winds carried the smoke north and east into Garfield County.

The Bureau of Land Management seeks public comment on a proposal to build a 65-mile underground pipeline near Meeker.BLM will be conducting an Environmental Assessment on the proposal, which was submitted by Enterprise Gas Processing L.L.C. The 12-inch, natural gas liquids pipeline would be a “lateral” line connecting the proposed Meeker Gas Plant, about 20 miles southwest of Meeker, to Enterprise’s existing pipeline system, about 30 miles northwest of Grand Junction. The proposal also includes a 20-inch natural gas gathering pipeline that would parallel the longer line for 23 miles.BLM will accept public comment on the proposed plan through May 17, 2006.To receive a copy of the proposed plan and map, visit the White River Field Office Web site at http://www.co.blm.gov/wrra or contact Penny Brown, BLM White River Field Office, at 970-878-3800.

DENVER – Colorado Insurance Commissioner David Rivera announced recently a new campaign to educate Coloradans about the potential pitfalls of discount health plans. A Discount Health Plan is a type of “buyer’s club” that typically charges a monthly membership fee to consumers in exchange for a list of health care professionals who will purportedly provide services at a discounted rate to members. Some discount health plans are legitimate, others are not. It is important for Colorado consumers to realize these plans are not insurance, are not regulated by the Colorado Division of Insurance, and may not provide the benefits and cost savings that were promised. Consumers with questions about discount health plans can call the Colorado Division of Insurance at (800) 930-3745.

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