Garfield County is in Stage 1 fire restrictions
Lands in unincorporated Garfield County are in Stage 1 fire restrictions; White River National Forest and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands within the county are in Stage 2 fire restrictions at 12:01 a.m., June 25. 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
Much of northwest Colorado implementing Stage 2 fire restrictions
CRAIG, Colo. – Stage 2 fire restrictions will begin Friday, June 25 at 12:01 a.m. for Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administered lands in Grand, Eagle, Summit, Routt, Moffat, Garfield, and Rio Blanco counties along with lands within the Kremmling, White River, and Little Snake Field Offices.
Recent hot and windy conditions across northwest Colorado have dried out fuels providing optimal conditions for wildfires.
Under Stage 2 restrictions:
- No building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire, charcoal grill, coal, wood burning stove, or sheepherders’ stove, including in developed camping and picnic grounds. Devices using pressurized liquid or gas are exempted.
- No smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, trailer, building, or tent.
- Using an explosive requiring fuse or blasting caps, fireworks, rockets, exploding targets and tracers, or incendiary ammunition.
- No operating or using any internal combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained, and in effective working order meeting either:
Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Standard 5100-1a; or
Appropriate Society of automotive Engineers (SAE) recommended practice J335(b) and J350(a). 36 CFR 261.52(j).
- No operating a chainsaw without an approved spark arrestor, and without a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher, and a round-point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches. The extinguisher will be with the equipment operator. The shovel may be kept with fueling supplies but readily available for use.
- No welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame (except with a current permit, contract, or letter of authorization).
These new stage 2 fire restrictions are in conjunction with restrictions that begin this week in other northwest Colorado locations, including White River National Forest, Dinosaur National Monument, and Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge.
NOTE: The use of fireworks, flares, or other incendiary devices, including exploding targets, are always prohibited on federal lands. Stage 2 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.