Good morning southern Colorado and here's what you need to know on your Thursday morning.
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Gov. Jared Polis issues 30-day statewide fire ban effective 9 a.m. Thursday
Gov. Jared Polis issued an executive order Wednesday that bans open fires statewide starting at 9 a.m. Thursday. The purpose of the order is to help limit fire activity as four wildfires rage in the state, including the Pine Gulch Fire that is now the second-largest fire in Colorado history. The restrictions outlined in the order include campfires, charcoal grill fires, explosives, and smoking unless you are in an enclosed space or at least 6 feet away from flammable items.
Colorado receives approval for $300 federal unemployment benefit for initial 3-week period
Colorado has received approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to utilize federal money to pay people who have lost their jobs or seen their hours cut an extra $300 a week – though it is unclear for how long that benefit will last and how long it will take the state to implement it. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment said Wednesday that it had been approved for the Lost Wages Assistance program – part of the Other Needs Assistance program announced earlier this month by President Trump through executive order.
Hot again today before afternoon and evening thunderstorms
We're going to be hot again today with smoke likely present in and around El Paso and Teller counties in particular from the morning through the early afternoon. We'll see showers and storms develop over the mountains in the afternoon and eventually spread east into the plains this evening. Storms today have the ingredients for isolated severe weather, but severe chances in general remain low. There could be a second passing of showers and storms tonight, but severe weather is not expected.
Pine Gulch Fire now the second-largest fire in Colorado history
According to the Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center, the Pine Gulch Fire grew more than 37,000 acres Tuesday night and continued to grow throughout the day Wednesday. At 125,252 acres, it is now the second-largest fire in Colorado history.The Pine Gulch Fire has grown larger than the Spring Creek Fire, which burned in southern Colorado down around La Veta Pass. That fire had been the second-largest in our history at 108,045 acres.
Pueblo School District 70 prepares teachers to spot signs of child abuse
Since the pandemic began, families across Colorado have been sheltering at home. Kids who are learning from home aren't seeing the teachers, other adults who would normally raise concerns about their safety and well-being. As a result, there's been a drop in reported child abuse cases across our area, particularly in Pueblo. Without seeing teachers every day, who are mandatory reporters, many are concerned about increases in child abuse.
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