The fire department worked the perimeter of the fire to stop any chance of spread and remained on the scene for a couple of hours while being hampered by continual lightning strikes in the area. The fire is estimated to have burned over 2 acres of land before being extinguished. Witnesses said strong winds were moving the fire very rapidly until the heavy rain slowed its progress. The official rain gauge in the area recorded three-tenths of an inch from the storm. Bill Rau, who witnessed the strike at about 7:24 p.m., said the lightning ignited cheat grass and sage, and within three minutes the wind had pushed the fire well over 100 yards to the south. “Two minutes later,” he said, “the fire was another 100 yards farther along, fed by the dry grass and sage and sending flames 20 feet into the air. At about 7:32 p.m. rain began to fall and aided in suppressing the fire.”
Grand County Emergency Medical Services and Castle Valley First Responders were called out early Monday morning to the home of David Silverman who was reported to be unresponsive. Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians performed emergency procedures for an hour before they exhausted all life-saving possibilities and pronounced him dead. His daughter, Gabby, was with him at the time of death and said that he was previously diagnosed with several life-threatening ailments and simply died in his sleep that night.
David was a fixture in Castle Valley for many years and will be missed by those who knew and associated with him. Gabby is planning a celebration of life for next week in Castle Valley and the details were not firm as of press time, but an announcement will be published next week.
As was reported last week, the repaving work will begin on state Route 128 next Monday, Aug. 14 with some incidental work with lane closures during daytime hours. Those work operations include installing a cattle guard near milepost 18, some earthwork with short sections of lane closures with traffic reduced to one lane with short delays, according to information provided by the project public information team. There will also be some locations with multiple culvert repair that may require up to a 1-mile closure with a pilot car.
They say that while this work is taking place you can expect traffic delays of up to 15 minutes. All of these operations are expected to commence and finish between Aug. 14 and Aug. 24 during daytime work hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Nighttime paving operations are scheduled to commence on Aug. 28 from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. and commuters will encounter construction work with traffic limited to a single lane and up to 15-minute delays in the work zone.
On a related subject, Laura Kamala posted on the Castle Valley Community Facebook page that drivers should be careful at the traffic light at U.S. 191 and SR 128. “Four times now, I had a green light coming off 128 and traffic in the other direction, presumably with a red light, wasn’t stopped or intending to stop. The incident this morning was most frightening when a semi trailer blasted through right behind my turn onto 191 and by a hair in front of a very good friend of mine who barely missed being killed. Both of us CV travelers had the right of way,” she said. Laura continued that “instead of blasting through the green next time, take a breath and count to three at least before proceeding.”
Twenty-five years ago this week, the town council and property owners association met to discuss the results of a land survey that was conducted to determine the legal description of the area around Castle Valley Drive and Bailey Lane. It seems that when Castle Valley Drive was originally constructed it didn’t follow the legal description and ended up completely off course. At one point, Castle Valley Drive was about 60 feet off course and actually traveled through a shop building on Lot 77 at the corner of Bailey Lane. If memory serves, a trade was made later between properties and the legal description was changed to reflect the new right of way.
That week, this column also reported on a meeting between Castle Valley Mayor John Groo and Road Supervisor Don Tuft with Grand County Commissioners David Knutson and Manuel Torres. The commissioners told the Castle Valley officials that the county would chip seal Castle Valley Drive and Shafer Lane contingent upon opening Shafer Lane to the La Sal Mountain Loop Road. As expected, there was a lot of discussion at the council meeting on the merits and problems associated with opening the road. Some were concerned with the extra traffic on the road while others thought there would not be additional traffic because it is actually longer going on Shafer Lane. A public hearing was to be held to determine the course of action. There was no mention back then of the fact that Shafer Lane went through private property. Maybe the property still belonged to the developer at that time, but in any event, the road was never opened up to through traffic.