Emergency Management Director Butch Knowlton

East Animas Road reopens after almost monthlong closure

East Animas Road reopened Wednesday after county crews were able to clear the onslaught of mud and debris slides. The road (County Road 250) closed March 22 in the 2700 block , which has a history...

DATE: April 17, 2019 | CATEGORY: Local News

Debris flow covers road in 10 feet of muck

The Missionary Ridge rockfall is on the move. In the past couple of days, several thousand tons of mud and debris have come down the mountainside to the Animas Valley floor, said Butch Knowlton,...

DATE: March 27, 2019 | CATEGORY: Local News

Rapid snow melt could intensify 416 Fire runoff

How bad the runoff from the 416 Fire burn scar will be is going to depend on how quickly the snow melts, Butch Knowlton, director of La Plata County’s Office of Emergency Management, said Tuesday...

DATE: March 26, 2019 | CATEGORY: Local News

Avalanches in Durango? It can (and has) happened

It turns out the risk of avalanches isn’t just restricted to the high country. With snow pummeling most areas of Southwest Colorado, Butch Knowlton, La Plata County’s director of the Office of...

DATE: Feb. 21, 2019 | CATEGORY: Local News

Two backcountry skiers rescued on Coal Bank Pass

Two backcountry skiers who spent the night outdoors after being caught in Thursday’s storm near Coal Bank Pass were rescued Friday and returned to safety. Ron Corkish with La Plata County Search...

DATE: Feb. 15, 2019 | CATEGORY: Local News

Southwest Colorado to get a permanent weather radar system

It’s official: A permanent weather radar system for Southwest Colorado and the Four Corners is on its way. Recently, the Colorado Department of Local Affairs awarded $1.7 million in funding for a...

DATE: Jan. 9, 2019 | CATEGORY: Local News

Fort Lewis College professor developing app for firefighter safety

What if firefighters had an interactive map that could tell them the most efficient escape routes and the amount of time it would take to find safety while fighting wildfires? Well, a Fort Lewis...

DATE: Oct. 15, 2018 | CATEGORY: Local News

Hurricane Rosa could send heavy rainfall to Southwest Colorado

All eyes are on an approaching Category 4 hurricane off the coast of Mexico that could bring a significant amount of rain to Southwest Colorado early next week and could cause devastating flooding...

DATE: Sept. 30, 2018 | CATEGORY: Local News

Lessons from Missionary Ridge Fire apply to 416 burn area

The impacts of the 416 Fire will be with residents in the north Animas Valley for a while, but nature is resilient and usually the best and quickest healer. The experience of the 2002 Missionary...

DATE: Sept. 13, 2018 | CATEGORY: Local News

‘We freak out every time a raindrop falls’

HERMOSA – It took about 20 minutes to forever change the lives of residents in Pines Townhomes. Shortly before 2:30 p.m. July 24, rain hit the burn scar of the 416 Fire, sending a torrent of mud...

DATE: Aug. 14, 2018 | CATEGORY: Local News

La Plata County to update building code

Significant updates may be on the way for the La Plata County building code, which could mitigate some of the building department’s everyday problems. The department plans to update its code, based...

DATE: Jan. 25, 2017 | CATEGORY: Local News

Emergency shelter project at La Plata County Fairgrounds to move forward despite short grant

La Plata County has changed a project to provide emergency shelter at the county fairgrounds after a state grant came back short of the original request. In December, La Plata County Emergency...

DATE: Jan. 11, 2017 | CATEGORY: Local News

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