Rainbow Gathering planned in Colorado sparks fire concerns

Exchange Rainbow Gathering Colorado
FILE -Rainbow Family members arrive in the Routt National Forest north of Steamboat Springs, Colo., Saturday, July 1, 2006, where as many as 20,000 took part in the annual Rainbow Family gathering. Officials predict that up to 30,000 people will show up for this year’s gathering, which is slated to take place in Colorado and will mark the 50th anniversary of the group. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File)

By JASON BLEVINS The Colorado Sun

DENVER (AP) — The Rainbow Gathering of the Tribes plans to return to Colorado this summer to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The Colorado Sun reports the weeks-long confab could draw 30,000 hippie campers to public lands, sparking concerns that the group could accidentally start a wildfire.

The loose structure of the Rainbow Family makes it hard for federal land managers and local communities to address impacts and plan for the pending party.

The Forest Service suspects the group could be planning to gather in Grand County in June and July. That's where the original national gathering took place in 1972. The group last held its national gathering in Colorado in 2006.