Fire restrictions in Garfield County reduced to Stage 1
Stage I restrictions begin September 18, 2020
The Garfield County Sheriff, and the seven fire districts in Garfield County, as well as BLM, moved to Stage 1 Fire Restrictions Friday, September 18, 2020. This applies to all of unincorporated Garfield County.
Forest Service lands in Garfield County also reduced their fire restrictions to Stage 1 at the same time.
Fire danger is still high throughout Garfield County, but the recent cooler temperatures and moisture have allowed for a re-evaluation of the restrictions. Local, county, state and federal officials in the area will continue to evaluate and coordinate fire restrictions weekly during the fire season.
WHAT STAGE I 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) A temporary fire pan and 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 also 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 land owner. This includes residential and business areas, improved recreational areas, parks and other common areas.
An “Undeveloped Area” 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 park lands, 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.
Additional information will be released as it becomes available.
BLM Colorado, Northwest District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 17, 2020
Contact: Maribeth Pecotte, (970) 724-3027
Mixed bag of Stage 1 and 2 fire restrictions in Northwest Colorado
SILT, Colo. – As a result of recent cooler weather and increased moisture, the BLM’s Colorado River Valley Field Office and the Eagle County portion of the Kremmling Field Office, along with Eagle, Garfield, and Pitkin Counties will revert from Stage 2 to Stage 1 fire restrictions on Friday September 18.
“As fire restrictions are scaled back to Stage 1, public land visitors are asked to be cautious with fires in places where they are allowed,” said Colorado River Valley Field Manager Larry Sandoval. “Large fires in Colorado and across the west are still impacting availability of firefighting resources, so we urge everyone to do their part to prevent human-caused fires. Stage 1 fire restrictions prohibit the following acts:
- Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire except within approved fire grates at developed recreation sites.
- Smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle or building, developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is clear of flammable materials.
- Operating a chainsaw without a USDA or SAE approved, working spark arrestor and properly installed, a chemical fire extinguisher of at least 8 ounces capacity by weight, and one round-point shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches.
- Using a welder, either arc or gas, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame, except in cleared areas of at least 10 feet in diameter with a chemical fire extinguisher of at least 8 ounces capacity.
- Using exploding targets.
White River, Little Snake, and Kremmling Field Offices in Grand, Jackson, Moffat, Rio Blanco, Routt, and Summit counties will remain in Stage 2 fire restrictions. The need for and level of fire restrictions are evaluated each week. Decisions are based on local conditions, including recent and predicted weather, drought, occurrence of human-caused fires, fuel moisture, likelihood of ignition, and whether existing fires are currently affecting availability of wildland firefighting resources.
BLM fire restriction orders and maps of restriction areas are available at Northwest District Fire Restrictions page. General information about fire restrictions throughout Colorado is available online.
Fire restrictions will be in place until further notice. In addition to criminal penalties, those found responsible for starting wildfires may also face restitution costs of suppressing the fire.
White River National Forest to reduce fire restrictions in some areas
GLENWOOD SPRING, Colo. – The White River National Forest will reduce fire restrictions to Stage 1 in the Aspen-Sopris, Eagle-Holy Cross, and Rifle ranger districts beginning Friday.
The Blanco and Dillon ranger districts will remain in Stage 2 fire restrictions at this time.
Detailed orders describing the specifics of the two types of restrictions are available online.
The primary difference between the two stages for campers and recreationists on the Forest is that under Stage 1, campfires and charcoal are only allowed in the designated metal grates in developed Forest Service campgrounds and picnic areas. Campfires or charcoal are not allowed anywhere on the ranger districts under Stage 2 restrictions. Propane stoves and other petroleum-fueled camping equipment are allowed under both stages.
Officials consider several 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 in the area evaluate and coordinate fire restrictions weekly during fire season.
“Although we have received some moisture, there is still a fire danger in western Colorado,” said White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams. “We try to coordinate fire restrictions as closely as possible with counties and other neighboring agencies.”
For more information about the White River National Forest, call 970 945-2521 or visit online.
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