Plague-ridden prairie dogs threaten Colorado Phish festival

  • Sat Aug 24th, 2019 1:30am
  • Life

By Storm Gifford

New York Daily News

Hey, Phish fans: Ditch the tents and stock up on antibiotics.

An upcoming three-day Colorado extravaganza featuring the longtime progressive rock group won’t be suitable for sleepovers, thanks to a bubonic plague threat.

The Labor Day weekend event with the Vermont-formed band will still take place, but camping will be forbidden for fear that infected prairie dogs could potentially start an outbreak, reported Time.

Colorado’s Tri-County Health Department reported that it had discovered plague-infected fleas in the vicinity of prairie dog holes near the Phish venue, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, home of the Colorado Rapids soccer team.

“It was pretty much determined that we needed to not be careless and reckless in a way to keep people out of those areas,” Tri-County department’s environmental health manger Monte Deatrich told The Denver Post.

Phish fans were feeling the pain after the band took to Facebook, noting the “ongoing cases of plague in prairie dog colonies” and how the Health Department will be restricting venue parking to just the asphalt lots.

“We are sorry to say that there will be no overnight camping allowed for this year’s show,” the band stated via the social media site.

Parts of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge were closed in July as a precautionary measure after the discovery of the disease, said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“The prairie dog colonies are being monitored and burrows are being treated with insecticide, but there is still evidence of fleas in the hiking and camping areas, which could put people and pets at risk, so those areas will remain closed,” said John Douglas, executive director of the Tri-County Health Department.