June 11, 2012

View of Gila wildfire from Highway 180     Photo: U.S. Forest Service Gila National Forest

Hundreds Flee NM and CO Wildfires

Rapid spread threatens homes

Wildfires spread rapidly over the weekend near parched mountain communities in New Mexico and Colorado, forcing hundreds to evacuate their homes. Hotshot crews are struggling to build a fire line around a 54-square-mile blaze near Ruidoso in southern New Mexico as strong winds ground firefighting aircraft. The fire has destroyed 36 structures, including homes. A larger blaze has burned 450 square miles in southwestern New Mexico, making it the biggest fire in the state's history. Authorities in northern Colorado have sent 1,800 evacuation notices to Larimer County residents as crews battle a fire near Fort Collins that charred 31 square miles on Sunday and damaged 18 buildings. Officials in both states say that the growth of the fires is outpacing containment efforts. "These folks are doing everything they can, but Mother Nature is running this fire," said Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith.

Read more at The Boston Globe

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Georgie Hincapie in 2009     Photo: Chuck Abbe/Flickr

Hincapie Announces Retirement

BMC cyclist will step down at end of season

Veteran professional cyclist and five-time Olympian George Hincapie announced his retirement on Monday, putting an end to a 19-year career. Hincapie, who supported Lance Armstrong, Alberto Contador, and Cadel Evans during their wins at the Tour de France, will leave BMC at the end of this season. "I came to the conclusion that I want to go out while I can still contribute and make a difference," Hincapie said. Among his other achievements, Hincapie has appeared on every American Olympic cycling team since 1992; taken the national road race titles in 1998, 2006, and 2009; and won races including the Gent-Wevelgem classic and the Tour of Missouri.

Read more at the Associated Press

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    Photo: Alaskan Dude/Flickr

Teen Yellowstone Employee Dies in Fall

Was hiking after first day on the job

An 18-year-old Yellowstone National Park employee died her first day on the job after falling 400 feet during a hike. Maria Sergeyevna Rumyantseva of Russia was hiking the North Rim Trail along Yellowstone's "Grand Canyon" when she ventured off trail onto a rock ledge, which gave way beneath her. "The 18-year-old was sitting on a ledge when the rock fell away. Someone was standing right behind her and, miraculously, didn't fall," said park spokesman Dan Hottle. Yellowstone park rangers responded to the 911 call and determined that Rumyantseva had sustained fatal injuries. The body was removed by helicopter the following day. The incident is still under investigation.

Read more at USA Today

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Bradley Wiggins at the 2012 Criterium du Dauphine     Photo: Peter Stevens/Flickr

Wiggins Wins Criterium du Dauphine

British cyclist earns second consecutive victory

On Sunday, British cyclist Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) won his second consecutive Criterium du Dauphine overall title. Daniel Moreno (Katusha) won the final stage of the race but was unable to upset Wiggins, who easily defended his position. Wiggins' teammate Michael Rogers took second overall and Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) finished in third place. Andy Schleck, the 2010 Tour de France winner, dropped out of the race on Saturday. He had recently revealed he missed a week of training in May due to knee problems. Wiggins is considered a favorite for the Tour de France next month.

Read more at Cycling News

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