GCSO: Missing rafter on Colorado River

Garfield County Sheriff’s Office

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO. – Shortly after 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 25, 2023, the Glenwood Springs Fire Department and the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a missing rafter near Grizzly Creek in Glenwood Canyon.

A father and son entered the Colorado River at Grizzly Creek with the intent of rafting to the New Castle area. Shortly after the raft was put into the river it capsized. The son was able to swim to the shore while the father, according to witnesses, continued down the river holding onto the capsized raft.

Glenwood Fire arrived on scene, and immediately began their rescue efforts searching the river on both banks from the Grizzly Creek rest area to Two Rivers Park in Glenwood Springs. Search and Rescue was called to assist in the search. After two hours of searching both banks and the River, Glenwood Fire ceased their efforts on the Colorado River and cleared the scene allowing Garfield County Search and Rescue members to continue their work.

With night approaching and in the interest of safety, Search and Rescue members suspended their rescue efforts for the day shortly after 8:00 p.m. The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office is currently treating this as a missing person report and will work with Search and Rescue to continue the search in the area.

The missing person is described as a 65-year-old male who was last seen wearing a grey shirt or hoody with white and yellow gloves. It is unclear if he was wearing a personal flotation device or not.

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone. It is great to enjoy all the white water challenges that Colorado rivers provide; and everyone should follow a few simple guidelines while on a river, particularly when navigating what are known as “white water” areas:

  1. Always wear a personal flotation device.
  2. When on white water rapids wear a helmet designed for water usage.
  3. Raft in groups with two or more rafts or watercraft in your party 
  4. Make sure someone on shore or at home knows the area or stretch of water you are planning to navigate.

Be safe, be smart, and enjoy this terrific recreational opportunity.

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank Glenwood Springs Fire and the members of Garfield County Search and Rescue for their quick and professional response in this matter.

River water in front of raft in Glenwood Canyon
GCSO: Missing rafter on Colorado River

Spring Creek Fire southwest of Parachute burning

Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit

6.26.23, 10:09 am – Crews have made great progress on securing the perimeter of the Spring Creek Fire and tended to several spot fires. Overnight, fire activity picked up due to dry conditions and increased winds.

The fire is currently 212 acres and 20 percent contained; this change in size is due to more accurate mapping. Over 150 personnel are assigned to the Spring Creek Fire, and more resources are expected to arrive today. Firefighting is a collaborative effort across agencies and resources. Yesterday, aviation resources were diverted from the Spring Creek Fire to support an initial attack on the Hubbard Fire, just outside of Rifle.

The current high temperatures, dry fuels, low humidity, and windy conditions may increase wildfire behavior. The National Weather Service is predicting Red Flag conditions please be extra cautious while out enjoying your week.

Learn more about fire safety precautions at CalFire’s One Less Spark website.

6.25.23, 2:43 pm, Parachute, Colo. – The Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire (UCR Fire) Management Unit and Grand Valley Fire Protection District (GVFPD) are in unified command to battle the Spring Creek Fire, five miles southwest of Parachute.

On June 24, the GVFPD was called to a brush fire around 2 pm, near Spring Creek. Initial responding firefighters found active fire running and spotting in rugged pinyon-juniper and grassy terrain. Crews from Debeque Fire Protection District, Colorado River Fire Rescue, Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District, Lower Valley Fire Department, Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and the UCR Fire Management Unit responded as mutual aid to assist with firefighting efforts.

“This is a great example of cooperators coming together to support the community,” stated Incident Commander, Chris Jackson. “Crews are working diligently to protect resources and contain this blaze.”  

The Spring Creek Fire is approximately 201 acres with moderate fire behavior. Air and ground resources will expand on the great progress made overnight to try and contain the fire within the current footprint. No structures are immediately threatened, and no injuries have been reported. The cause is unknown and under investigation at this time.

Spring Creek Road and High Mesa Road are open to local traffic only, and please use caution in the area while there is an increase in fire personnel. The Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit Facebook page will continue to provide updates as new information is available.

As a reminder, the large amount of winter moisture creates a large amount of springtime growth on our landscape. As those fuels dry out, they become quick-burning fuel loads that can result in active fire behavior and potential. Please be Firewise during Fire Year 2023.

6.25.23, 10:05 am – The Upper Colorado River (UCR) Interagency Fire Management Unit and Grand Valley Fire Protection District are in unified command of the Spring Creek Fire, about five miles southwest of Parachute, Colo.

The Spring Creek Fire is estimated to be at 201 acres with moderate fire behavior in pinyon-juniper and grass fuels. There are currently no structures immediately threatened at this time. The cause of this fire is unknown and under investigation.

Crews from UCR, Grand Valley Fire Protection District, Garfield County, Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District, Colorado River Fire Rescue, Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, and De Beque Fire Protection District continue fire suppression efforts and have made great progress. Updates will be provided as more information is available.

We appreciate the support from the community, and please avoid the area to keep the public and fire crews safe.

Spring Creek Fire slurry plane
Spring Creek Fire hand crews in heavy brush
Spring Creek Fire aerial map of fire perimeter

6.24.23, 6:38 pm – Ground and air resources are currently engaged in the Spring Creek Fire 5 miles SW of Parachute, CO. The incident is estimated at 150 acres and is actively running and spotting.

We will keep you updated.

Facebook link for Spring Creek Fire

Smoke visible across Garfield County
Aerial view of Spring Creek Fire
Aerial view of Spring Creek Fire
Spring Creek Fire smoke south of Parachute
Spring Creek Fire smoke south of Parachute
Spring Creek Fire southwest of Parachute, Colorado near Bookcliffs
Spring Creek Fire southwest of Parachute burning

Rifle Mountain Park closed due to flooding

City of Rifle

RIFLE, CO (May 18, 2023) – Rifle Mountain Park is closed due to flooding. County Road 217 is shut down at the end of State Highway 325, just past the Rifle Falls Fish Hatchery. No one will be allowed past that point.  Snowmelt, combined with heavy localized downpours of rain, has resulted in extensive ponding on roadways, campsites and other low-lying areas. Rifle Creek, which runs through the park, is overflowing its banks and running extremely fast. These conditions are expected to worsen, as more precipitation is anticipated for the area.

Do not enter the park until it has been deemed safe and officially reopened. For updates, please go to the official City of Rifle website, or City of Rifle Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

Rifle Mountain Park closed due to flooding

NWS: Snow squall warning – Garfield and sorrounding counties

National Weather Service

2.22.23, 4:58 pmSnow squall warning until 5:30 p.m. Mountain Standard Time. Slow down or delay travel! Be ready for a sudden drop to near zero visibility and icy roads in heavy snow.

The National Weather Service in Grand Junction has issued a Snow Squall Warning for…southwestern Eagle County in west central Colorado…

northwestern Pitkin County in west central Colorado…

northeastern Mesa County in west central Colorado…

southeastern Garfield County in west central Colorado…

* Until 530 PM MST.

* At 456 PM MST, a dangerous snow squall was located along a line extending from near Gypsum to 21 miles east of Collbran, moving east at 30 mph.

HAZARD…Flash freeze on roads. Intense bursts of heavy snow. Gusty winds leading to blowing snow and visibility rapidly falling to less than one-quarter mile. Wind gusts greater than 50 mph could knock down tree limbs and blow around unsecured objects.

SOURCE…Radar and webcams.

IMPACT…Dangerous and life-threatening travel conditions are expected to develop rapidly in the warning area.

This includes the following highways:
Interstate 70 in Colorado between mile markers 110 and 154.
Colorado 82 between mile markers 1 and 21.
Colorado 131 between mile markers 3 and 4.
Colorado 133 between mile markers 59 and 68.

Locations impacted include…Glenwood Springs, Eagle, Gypsum, Carbondale, Basalt, Dotsero, Cattle Creek, El Jebel, Emma and Shoshone.


Wet roadways will quickly freeze. Black ice will cause roads, bridges, and overpasses to become slick and dangerous. Slow down and be prepared for a sudden loss of traction.

Slow down! Rapid changes in visibility and road conditions are expected with this dangerous snow squall. Be alert for sudden whiteout conditions.



NWS: Snow squall warning – Garfield and sorrounding counties

Garco911, CDOT: I-70 reopened in Glenwood Canyon after cleanup of crash

Garfield County Emergency Communications Authority

1.30.23, 11:42 p.m. – UPDATE: I-70 is open at mile marker 116 eastbound, Glenwood Springs. Glenwood Canyon is now open.

Colorado Department of Transportation

1.30.23, 10:14 p.m. – UPDATE: Westbound I-70 Glenwood Canyon REOPENS after vehicle crash. Crews worked throughout the day to safely clear away a crashed commercial motor vehicle. Crews have reopened westbound Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon after the extended closure. Eastbound I-70 is anticipated to open within the hour. The closure was necessary for crews to safely clear a commercial vehicle that crashed on I-70 east of Glenwood Springs, Road conditions are available at COtrip.org.

1-30-23-Glenwood Canyon crash

1.30.23, 1:24 p.m. – STATEWIDE – A safety closure is in place for Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon for eastbound and westbound traffic due to a vehicle crash. The extended closure is in place between exit 133 (Dotsero) and exit 116 (Glenwood Springs) and is expected to last at least through tonight. The commercial motor vehicle crash is located at Mile Point 124.6, east of Glenwood Springs, and will require extensive removal operations. The alternate routes will add several hours of travel time (more info below). All updates will continue to post to COtrip.org. More pictures will be posted on the CDOT Facebook page and added to a media kit folder as they become available.

One commercial motor vehicle was involved in the crash. The tractor-trailer crashed while traveling westbound, west of Hanging Lake Tunnel. The trailer is currently blocking westbound traffic, and the tractor traveled over the guardrail down onto eastbound lanes. Secondary crashes also took place nearby as vehicles tried to avoid the crashed CMV. Crews are working as quickly and safely as possible to clear the CMV, secondary crashes and motorists waiting in the queue behind the crash.

Alternate Routes

CDOT strongly advises motorists to check weather and travel conditions before using the northern or southern alternate routes. It is very important to check COtrip.org and weather forecasts before traveling on either route. They are more remote than I-70 and have limited cell service in places. Smartphone users can also use CDOT’s free COtrip Planner mobile app. Drivers should anticipate additional traffic on these routes.

Northern Alternate Route

To use the northern alternate route, westbound motorists from the Denver metro area will exit I-70 at exit 205 (Silverthorne) and travel north on Colorado Highway 9 towards Kremmling. At Kremmling, travelers will continue west on US Highway 40 until the intersection with Colorado Highway 13 in Craig. Turn south on CO 13 to complete the alternate route and return to westbound I-70 at Rifle (exits 87 or 90). Eastbound motorists can travel the same route in reverse. Motorists should be prepared for icy and snowpacked areas along this route and are encouraged to drive for the conditions.

Southern Alternate Route

To use the southern alternate route, westbound motorists from the Denver metro area can travel on US 285 to US 50, and continue west to Grand Junction. Travelers on I-70 can use CO 9 to US 285 south to US 50, or use CO 91 southwest to US 24 to US 50. Eastbound motorists traveling from the Grand Junction area can use US 50 east to US 285 and continue to Denver and areas nearby. 

Know Before You Go

Travelers are urged to “know before you go.” Gather information about weather forecasts and anticipated travel impacts and current road conditions prior to hitting the road. CDOT resources include:

Check avalanche conditions at CAIC: www.avalanche.state.co.us

1.30.23, 11:50 a.m. – I-70 is closed in both directions between exit 133: Dotsero and exit 114: West Glenwood (Glenwood Springs) due to a semi-truck crash. Proceed with caution, expect lengthy delays. No detour available at this time.

1-30-23-Glenwood Canyon crash closeup image

Garfield County Emergency Communications Authority

1.30.23, 11:35 am – I-70 is closed between mile-markers 116-133 both directions, Glenwood Springs Canyon, due to an accident.

Garco911, CDOT: I-70 reopened in Glenwood Canyon after cleanup of crash