across Colorado

Colorado Unemployment Rises 0.1 Percent in July

PROMO 660 x 440 Business - Tablet Chart Graph Numbers Pen Hand - iStock-ultramarine5

Employers in Colorado added 2,800 nonfarm payroll jobs from June to July for a total of 2,737,300 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 2,700 and government increased 100. June estimates were revised up to 2,734,500, and the over the month increase from May to June was 9,100 rather than the originally estimated 4,200.

Major Expansion of Extreme Drought in Northwest Colorado

PROMO WEATHER Drought Cracked Ground Mud - Wikimedia

Hot and dry conditions have contributed to significant expansion of extreme drought in northwest and west central Colorado over the past week.

Extreme conditions grew to encompass the remainder of Garfield and Gunnison counties, as well as all of Rio Blanco and Pitkin counties. Most of Eagle, Summit and Chaffee counties also entered extreme drought, in addition to portions of Lake, southwest Grand, west central Clear Creek and southern Jackson and Moffat counties.

Hunters can check for closures, fire information through U.S. Forest Service and BLM web sites

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Fires have burned in several mountain areas in Colorado this summer. So if you're planning to hunt on lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management, check with those agencies for the latest backcountry travel, fire and closure information.

To check on national forest lands in Colorado, start by going to the web site of the U.S. Forest Service.

First human cases of West Nile virus reported for 2018; take precautions to avoid bites

PROMO 660 x 440 Animal - Mosquito Biting Human - Wikimedia

The first two human cases of West Nile virus in Colorado in 2018 have been reported in Weld and Delta counties. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reminds people that preventing mosquito bites is the No. 1 way to avoid getting any mosquito-borne illness.

Extreme Drought Retreats from Southeast Colorado

PROMO 660 x 440 Weather - Drought News Update Recap

After several weeks of frequent rain and thunderstorms, drought conditions across southeast Colorado began to show substantial improvement.

Extreme drought, which has covered much of the southern third of the state this year, moved out of Prowers and Baca counties. Extreme conditions also gave way to severe drought for large portions of Las Animas, Bent, Otero, and Pueblo counties, as well as smaller portions of neighboring counties.

A remaining pocket of exceptional drought in Pueblo, Crowley, Kiowa, Bent and Otero counties dropped to extreme drought. 

New Online Services Available from the DMV

PICT Sample Colorado Driver License - DOR

If you are one of the thousands of people who have stood in line and the Division of Motor Vehicles office wishing for a better way to take care of business, new features on the agency's web site promise faster service and less hassle.

The Colorado Department of Revenue's Division of Motor Vehicles has launched 15 new online services at mydmv.colorado.gov, bringing total online services offering to 34. These online services were added as part of the transition to the new DRIVES computer system, which took place over the weekend.

Ranger Station: Fascinating Little-Known Facts About 7 State Parks

PROMO 660 x 440 Outdoors - Colorado Parks Wildlife Mountains Baca National Wildlife Refuge - USFWS

Recently, as I was exploring Cheyenne Mountain State Park, I spotted a large dead tree still standing, thanks to a smaller tree that was holding it up - its branches wrapped around the dead tree's trunk. 

The dead tree had scars made years ago by barbed-wire fencing. The barbed wire was long since removed, but the scars remained.

Of course, we don't use barbed wire much in state parks. It was a remnant of the cattle ranch that existed here for decades before this property for became a state park in 2006.