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Fire danger climbs in Garfield County

June 26, 2023

This past weekend showed just how quickly fires can start and spread in Garfield County. The moisture that fell in the spring has created an abundance of growth and “fuel” sources in our grassland areas as well as our wooded areas. With the onset of summer comes less humidity, continued winds, and higher temperatures, creating a potential volatile situation.

This past weekend, two fires were reported and battled using local and district resources. The Spring Creek Fire just outside of Parachute began Saturday June 24, and burned over 200 acres. Multiple resources were required over the next two days to keep this fire from expanding and potentially threatening residences and private property.

An ATV that caught on fire Sunday, June 25, caused a second fire near the city of Rifle at Hubbard Mesa. The fire quickly spread to the surrounding brush and burned 5-10 acres, before a helicopter did a bucket drop of water and assisted local firefighters from Colorado River and Fire Rescue in containing the blaze.

Fire season is indeed upon us. All residents, campers and workers are encouraged to exercise additional caution when recreating or working near drier and flammable areas.

Additionally, with July 4 just around the corner, be aware that many fireworks, which may be purchased in other states, are illegal to possess or use in Colorado. When contemplating a private display remember:

1) In Colorado, even on private lands, it is illegal to possess or ignite any form of firework that is propelled into the air. Whether the entire incendiary or only a portion of it is fired into the air, it is illegal, unless you are a licensed professional with a valid permit.

2) On federal lands, including BLM and Forest Service lands, the use of fireworks of any type, flares, or other incendiary devices, including exploding targets, are always prohibited.

3) If you are responsible for starting a wildfire, you may well face restitution costs of suppressing that fire, as well as a variety of other charges.

Have fun, enjoy the many outdoor activities Colorado presents, but above all be smart, follow the laws and be careful. Protect our environment and protect each other.