White River National Forest lifting fire restrictions

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (July 29, 2021) – Beginning Friday, the White River National Forest will lift fire restrictions.

Fire danger has been moderated due to recent precipitation across much of the White River National Forest.   There is still some risk from wildfire and conditions will vary by location. Caution and compliance with fire safety across the forest is critical. 

“The recent rains have improved conditions considerably.  However, we are still in a drought and things can dry out quickly.  Please use caution with campfires.  Put out all campfires and make sure the ashes are cold before you leave them,” said Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams. 

Staff will continue to monitor conditions.  If there is a change in risk, fire restrictions may be re-established. Visitors are encouraged to visit the forest service webpage at https://www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver and check for Alerts & Warnings prior to visiting the forest to have current information about conditions and fire restrictions on the forest.

White River National Forest lifting fire restrictions

GCSO: Stage 1 fire restrictions begin Friday, June 18, 2021

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, Bureau of Land management (BLM) lands in Garfield County, U.S. Forest Service lands in Garfield and the seven fire districts in Garfield County are implementing 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 July Fourth 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 1 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.

Penalties

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.

Federal lands

The use of fireworks, flares, or other incendiary devices, including exploding targets, are always prohibited on Federal lands.

By definition:

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. 

Go to the Garfield County website for more information.

GCSO: Stage 1 fire restrictions begin Friday, June 18, 2021

City of Glenwood Springs: Stage 1 Fire Restrictions Effective Friday, June 18 at 12:01 a.m.

The City of Glenwood Springs is joining other regional jurisdictions and agencies to enact Stage 1 fire restrictions effective 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 18.

“It is everyone’s responsibility to use fire safely and adhere to the fire restrictions,” said Mayor Jonathan Godes. “These important restrictions intentionally target ways that help our community reduce fire risk and prevent wildfires during periods of high fire danger.”

For the purpose of clarifying these restrictions the following definitions are offered.

By definition:

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.

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.

The following Stage 1 fire restrictions will be strictly enforced:

  • All burn permits canceled. All open burning permits are canceled during fire restrictions.
  • Campfires/recreational fires:
    • In developed areas, campfire/recreational fires are allowed within designated fire pits  (i.e. a permanent in-ground containment structure). A temporary fire pan, Chiminea, or rock campfire ring is NOT acceptable.
    • In undeveloped areas, only gas-fueled devices with a shut-off valve shall be permitted.
  • No smoking, except within a designated area, an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed area or in an area free of combustibles.
  • No use of any explosives. All explosives are prohibited, including blasting caps, “exploding” targets, bullets, tracer rounds, model rockets, etc.
  • Hot work. Exercise common sense and industry safety practices when welding, grinding, or operating an acetylene or other similar torch with open flame.
  • Use of powered equipment. Must have a properly-installed spark arrestor and method for fire extinguishment.

In addition to stage 1 fire restrictions, all personal use of fireworks is prohibited in the City of Glenwood Springs and Garfield County until November.

Fire restriction violations can be reported to law enforcement via 9-1-1. Violation can lead to serious consequences including fines and imprisonment.

Fire safety reminders

  • Register or update your contact information today for emergency alerts at www.GarCo911.com.
  • Ask an out-of-town relative or friend to be your “family contact.” Your contact should live outside of your area. During family separations, it is often easier to contact an out of area relative. Family members should call the contact and tell him or her where they are. Everyone must know the contact’s name, address, and phone number.
  • Prepare your home: Check for, and remove, fire hazards in and around your home (roofs, gutters and under decks) such as dried out branches, leaves and debris.
  • Adults and children should know the basics: the sound of smoke alarms, the location of the nearest fire escape, emergency numbers, and an established meeting area.
  • Be fire wise: Prepare an emergency evacuation kit to keep in your vehicle, and a go bag.
  • Check vehicles and trailers before trips to ensure chains on the tow assembly aren’t dragging on the ground.
  • If you see a fire approaching your home or community, report it immediately by dialing 9-1-1.

For more information and for current fire restriction information, visit www.GlenwoodFire.com.

City of Glenwood Springs: Stage 1 Fire Restrictions Effective Friday, June 18 at 12:01 a.m.