Round-Up: AG to file arguments in lawsuit challenging education funding; Forest officials remind folks Waldo Canyon burn area is still closed

July 18, 2012

The Colorado Attorney General's office is expected to file its arguments against a lawsuit challenging how the Legislature funds schools in a case that's being heard by the state Supreme Court later this year. Today is the deadline for government attorneys to file their legal brief. A Denver District judge ruled last year the state's educational funding system is "irrational and inadequate." The lawsuit argues the state's education funding formula is unconstitutional and leaves students in poor districts at a disadvantage. Government officials argue education funding has grown during the last 20 years and that the state budget would be crippled if Colorado loses the lawsuit.


Forest officials are reminding people that the land within the burn area of the Waldo Canyon Fire is closed indefinitely. Fire information officer Dawn Sanchez says they’ve been seeing a steady stream of people looking to gain access to the area, but even if one doesn’t see a sign or a roadblock, the area is still closed.

"We do have a lot of areas in this fire that were pretty intensely burned. Those areas, they’re gonna continue to have some flash flood, some erosion issues in there, and not only that, we have some snag issues as well. We have fire weakened, damaged trees that are going to continue to come down. They can come down at any time. They can come down when there’s light winds, they can come down when there’s heavy winds. They can uproot, they can just snap off. It’s very dangerous for people to be in there right now."

Sanchez says crews work daily to take down weakened trees, and they’re constantly reevaluating conditions. The Incident Commander also flies over the entire fire area every day to look at regions that are still smoking, and gauge the effects of any rain events.

Updated map of closed areas can be found here, effective July 19th.