Garfield County is in Stage 1 fire restrictions
Lands in unincorporated Garfield County, White River National Forest and BLM lands within the county and areas within the city limits of the City of Glenwood are in Stage 1 fire restrictions.
Current fire restrictions
STAGE I FIRE RESTRICTIONS BEGAN FRIDAY, JUNE 18, 2021, at 12:01 A.M.
GARFIELD COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE – The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, BLM lands in Garfield County, Forest Service lands in Garfield and the seven fire districts in Garfield County implemented Stage 1 Fire Restrictions effective at 12:01 a.m. Friday, June 18, 2021. This applies to all of unincorporated Garfield County.
This decision was made with thoughtful consideration. We look at the data, as well as the potential for significant wildfires, and balance it with the impacts to our community.
Our concern: With the level of fire danger we are seeing, one spark could quickly spread into a dangerous wildfire threatening lives, property and natural resources.
Fire restrictions are implemented based on specific criteria to include moisture content of vegetation, weather outlooks, human risk factors and firefighting resource availability. It has been hot, dry, and unseasonably windy. The National Weather Service is forecasting above average temperatures and dry conditions with no relief from rain anytime soon.
With increasingly dry vegetation, severe drought conditions, and Fourth of July celebrations approaching, the danger for human caused wildfires increases even more.
What Stage 1 fire restrictions mean in Garfield County
- Fireworks are not allowed under Stage I Fire Restrictions. Professional fireworks shows may be allowed through the permitting process.
- All burn permits are postponed/canceled until further notice.
- Campfires are only allowed within designated fire grates in Developed Areas (i.e. a permanent in-ground containment structure or store bought fire pit); temporary fire pans or rock campfire rings will not be acceptable.
- No fires of any type, including charcoal, in Undeveloped Areas.
- No smoking, except within a designated area, enclosed vehicle or building, a developed area or in an area free of combustibles.
- No use of fireworks or explosive materials, including “exploding” targets or bullets and tracer rounds.
- Exercise common sense and industry safety practice when welding or operation of an acetylene or other similar torch with open flame always cleared safe area of vegetation and combustibles.
Causing a fire during fire restrictions can be a class 6 felony and can be punishable by fines. Other possible charges include Fourth Degree Arson (M2) and Intentionally Setting a Wildfire (F3). You may be held financially responsible for damage caused.
The use of fireworks, flares, or other incendiary devices, including exploding targets, are always prohibited on Federal lands.
A “Developed Area” is an area, whether within city limits or rural, that is groomed, manicured and or watered, where grasses, brush and trees are regularly attended to by landowner. This includes residential and business areas, improved recreational areas, parks and other common areas.
“Undeveloped Areas” are lands that are not groomed, manicured, or watered; where grasses, brush and trees have been allowed to grow in a natural environment. This includes green belts that are not landscaped or manicured, open space lands, non-manicured parklands, and other areas where the fire hazard presented by the vegetation is determined by the authority having jurisdiction or designee to be an undue wildland fire hazard.
Garfield County fireworks restrictions
BLM lands in Eagle, Garfield, and Pitkin counties and White River National Forest enact Stage 1 fire restrictions
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. – All lands managed by the White River National Forest and lands in Eagle, Garfield, and Pitkin counties managed by the Bureau of Land Management are under stage 1 fire restrictions as of Friday, June 18.
Unincorporated private lands in Pitkin and Rio Blanco counties entered Fire Restrictions June 16. Unincorporated private lands in Eagle, Garfield, and Summit counties entered fire restrictions on June 18.
Under Stage 1 restrictions:
- campfires are only allowed within designated fire grates in developed campgrounds (i.e. a metal, in-ground containment structure — fire pans and rock campfire rings are not acceptable)
- no fires of any type including charcoal outside of developed areas
- no smoking except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or in a barren area free of vegetation
- no use of explosive materials, including explosive targets
- no welding or operation of an acetylene or other similar torch with open flame except from an area that has been cleared of vegetation
- no operation of any internal combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed and in working order
Although conditions vary across the area, a longer-term drying trend is expected.
“Fire restrictions are prudent at this time considering the long-range forecast, fuel moisture conditions on the ground, and the continued high public visitation,” said White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams.
“As conditions dry, we are seeing more human-caused fire starts across multiple jurisdictions,” said BLM Colorado River Valley Field Manager Larry Sandoval. “In developed areas where campfires are permitted, please ensure your fire is completely out and cold before leaving. Please remember that fireworks are not allowed on Federal land.”
Officials consider a number of criteria when determining the need for fire restrictions, including current and anticipated fire danger, resource availability, and consistency with neighboring jurisdictions. Local, county, state and federal officials within the UCR area evaluate and coordinate fire restrictions weekly during fire season.
NOTE: The use of fireworks, flares, or other incendiary devices, including exploding targets, are always prohibited on federal lands. Stage 1 fire restrictions are in place on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands in Moffat, Rio Blanco, Eagle and Summit counties.
City of Glenwood Stage 1 fire restrictions
Red Flag Warnings and Fire Weather Watches
Frequently there are Red Flag warnings in effect in Garfield County, indicating no open burning is permitted. Fire Weather Watches also warn of risky fire conditions. Notifications are sent by Garfield County Emergency Communications Authority and the National Weather Service.
Garfield County in highest drought category
Garfield County, Colorado is in “exceptional drought” category.