COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Saturday night’s game between the Colorado Rapids and Montreal Impact will continue as scheduled, but the postgame fireworks are canceled and fans can only park in asphalt lots due to plague-infested fleas found on prairie dog colonies in the area.
At the recommendation of the Tri-County Health Department and the City of Commerce City, parking will be restricted to minimize risk to patrons, team and staff attending the game. The staging area for the fireworks is in the affected zone of the plague contamination.
The prairie dog colonies are being sprayed with insecticide to kill the fleas, which transmit the disease, and signs are posted for people to avoid the affected areas.
“Plague in prairie dog colonies is common in Colorado and can be managed safely with insecticide to kill the fleas that spread the disease,” John M. Douglas, Jr., executive director of Tri-County Health Department told 9NEWS in Denver. “Our partners have voluntarily closed these locations to prevent any humans or pets from wandering into the affected areas.”
According to a fact sheet provided on the Tri County Health Department’s website, plague is a very serious illness which includes symptoms of swollen lymph nodes, fever, chills, headache, and extreme exhaustion. However, if the disease is contracted, it can be treated by antibiotics.
Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, Prairie Gateway Open Space and unpaved parking areas at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park are closed until further notice, the health department said in a news release.
“Our highest priority is the health and safety of our fans, staff, and local community,” the Rapids said in a statement.