GCSO: Stage 1 fire restrictions begin June 26

Garfield County, COLO. – The Garfield County Sheriff, and the seven Fire Districts in Garfield County are implementing Stage 1 fire restrictions effective at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 26, 2020. This applies to all of unincorporated Garfield County.

This decision was not made without thoughtful consideration. We look at the data, 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’s been hot, dry, and unseasonably windy. So far this year, we’ve had 15 “Red Flag” warnings which is more than what we typically see over an entire year. 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 I 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) 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.

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 also 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 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.

GCSO: Stage 1 fire restrictions begin June 26

GCSO: Commissioners ban fireworks use in unincorporated Garfield County for balance of 2020

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO. – On May 18, 2020, the Garfield County Board of County Commissioners adopted Ordinance 2020-1 prohibiting the use of fireworks in unincorporated Garfield County for one year, excluding May 31 through July 5.  On Monday, June 15, 2020, the commissioners banned the ignition/setting-off of all fireworks with an additional resolution prohibiting the use of fireworks in unincorporated Garfield County from Monday, June 15, 2020, through Sunday, July 5, 2020.

This restriction applies to all private citizens. All commercial vendors who may be planning or have been hired for a fireworks display anywhere in unincorporated Garfield County must receive approval from their local fire districts. Unincorporated Garfield County, by definition, refers to all lands outside of municipal boundaries.

Individuals should seek guidance from the municipalities in which they reside, regarding the use of fireworks within city limits.

These decisions were made considering the rapidly drying fuel sources, due to the high temperatures and high winds recently experienced recently in Garfield County; in conjunction with the limited availability of resources to fight an expanding fire.

The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated extra precautions for the 2020 season. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation during these extreme times.

GCSO: Commissioners ban fireworks use in unincorporated Garfield County for balance of 2020

Garfield County Sheriff’s Office: Local partnership unveils new mental health resource

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – A partnership between the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, Garfield County and other local agencies is launching a new online mental health resource that provides useful, vetted information and resources, and connects citizens with local mental health professionals. CredibleMindPRO features support for citizens, first responders and law enforcement through a variety of resources, tools, assessments and evidence-based information. Borne from the increased need for mental health care during the COVID-19 pandemic, the free resource is available to the entire community.

The program linked from garfield-county.com/emergency-management/mental-health-resources, is customized to the community, continuously updated, and connects people seeking help with partnering local mental health agencies, including Valley View Hospital, Mountain Family Health, River Bridge Regional Center, Grand River Hospital, the Aspen Hope Center, Mind Springs Health and Trailhead Christian Counseling. The website allows users to create a confidential profile and to fill out anxiety and depression assessments. They can then practice behavioral therapy exercises, and even over time see how they are progressing.

“This is not a replacement for professional help, but rather a tool to augment that help with behavioral therapy,” said Mental Health Branch Director Dr. Adam Ford, Ph.D., of the COVID-19 Garfield County Incident Management. “Feelings of uncertainty, vulnerability, anxiety, isolation and loneliness are taking their toll on citizens across our communities.”

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, many are experiencing increased anxiety, depression and other mental health issues that may or may not have existed prior to the crisis. The majority of people seek information online about mental health, which is something Americans are often reluctant to talk face-to-face about.

“With COVID-19, you have people that are anxious and may already be suffering from mental health issues, as well as others that are experiencing these feelings for the first time. Of them, about 95 percent go online to seek information,” Ford said. “Many websites aren’t vetted with professionally trained mental health professionals, and don’t provide the information and services that are needed. CredibleMindPRO connects people with licensed psychologists and medical doctors, and all the information on the site has been vetted. This sets it apart from other options.”

CredibleMindPRO offers books, podcasts, videos, apps and online programs that cover 240 topics, such as risk and protective factors, anxiety, depression, mindfulness, sleep, work-life balance and burnout, all which affect mental health.

“As we learned after 9/11, the impact on mental health isn’t fully realized until months after a tragic event, so we’re glad to see innovative communities like Garfield County aggressively put support tools and services in place to get ahead of the impending spike in issues,” said Deryk Van Brunt, co-founder, and chief executive officer of CredibleMind. “Through our platform, they’ll not only be able to broadly offer evidence-based resources, but also drive evolving strategies informed by a continuous feedback loop that identifies specific needs within their community.”

Garfield County Sheriff’s Office: Local partnership unveils new mental health resource

Garfield County Sheriff’s Office: Fire ban lifted in Garfield County

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO. – the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office is lifting all fire restrictions on unincorporated private and state lands within Garfield County.

This collaborative effort by all parties involved acknowledges the public’s efforts to recreate responsibly while maintaining a level of safety for everyone. The joint movement to lift fire restrictions will serve to reduce confusion of where and what is allowed throughout Garfield County.

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. Be smart, be careful, protect our environment and protect each other.

We will continue to monitor the potential for fires and fire-spread in Garfield County. Should ambient conditions and moisture content of area fuels dictate it, we may be required to re-instate a fire ban at Stage I or Stage II levels.

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, Garfield County, the various municipalities and fire districts within Garfield County, Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service would like to thank everyone in Garfield County for their cooperation in doing their part to keep us all safe during the past months when our emergency response services were extremely limited due to COVID-19 and its requirements.

Garfield County Sheriff’s Office: Fire ban lifted in Garfield County

5-22-20 at 3:55 pm – Garfield County Sheriff’s Office: A wildland fire broke out along County Road 335 at mile marker 3.5. Federal Interagency Fire teams are responding, along with Colorado River Fire Rescue, and other agencies. Please avoid this area!

updates-|

5-22-20 at 3:55 pm – Garfield County Sheriff’s Office: A wildland fire broke out along County Road 335 at mile marker 3.5. Federal Interagency Fire teams are responding, along with Colorado River Fire Rescue, and other agencies. Please avoid this area!

Fire at Harvey Gap

On Thursday evening at approximately 7:30 PM a small fire (approximately 1 acre) broke out in the grasslands on the southwest corner of Harvey Gap Reservoir. The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office responded along with CRFR. Fortunately, the fire was quickly contained and the spread minimized.

With summer ramping up and people beginning to enjoy our great outdoors we want to remind you that we are still under Stage 1 Fire restrictions in unincorporated Garfield County. This is due not only to the potential for high winds, but the moisture content of potential fuels at lower elevations as well as the limited resources available to combat a large-scale fire due to the COVID-19 restrictions.

As a reminder, Stage 1 Fire restrictions in Garfield County are as follows:

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 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. 

  • All burn permits are postponed/Canceled until further notice with the issuance of Stage 1 Burn Restrictions.
  • 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 pans 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 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.
Fire at Harvey Gap

Garfield County Sheriff’s Office: Small brush fire along I-70 at MM 81

5-19-20 at 2:58 pm – Garfield County Sheriff’s Office: Small brush fire, I-70 westbound at mile marker 81; traffic is being diverted onto Highway 6. Eastbound lanes are not affected. Responding are Colorado River Fire Rescue and Grand Valley Fire Protection District. Go to the sheriff’s office Facebook page for more information and updates.

Garfield County Sheriff’s Office: Small brush fire along I-70 at MM 81

Stage 1 fire restrictions set in Garfield County

Garfield County Sheriff’s Office – Beginning April 15, 2020, at 12:00 a.m., the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Bureau of Land Management – Colorado River Valley Field Office, the US Forest Service and the seven fire districts in Garfield County (Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District, Glenwood Springs Fire Department, Colorado River Fire Rescue, Grand Valley Fire Protection District, Gypsum Fire Protection District, De Beque Fire Protection District and Lower Valley Fire Protection District) enacted Stage 1 fire restrictions.

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 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.       

  • all burn permits are postponed/canceled until further notice with the issuance of Stage 1 burn restrictions.
  • 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 pans 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 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.

We are all aware of the extra burden that has been placed on our first responders, due to the COVID-19 outbreak in our country and our communities. There are simply not enough firefighter/EMTs available for COVID-19 response and non-essential burning responses.

This is not only due to the limited number of firefighters, but with the COVID-19 requirements there are spacing requirements for firefighter and crew safety.

It is also important to maintain our air quality as pristine as possible for those who may be sick or already having breathing issues, and added respiratory concerns during these trying times. We need to work together to reduce and minimize any additional strain on our first responders; including firefighters, EMT’s, law enforcement, doctors, and nurses, as well as the people, friends and neighbors in our communities.

City of Glenwood Springs fire restrictions

Stage 1 fire restrictions set in Garfield County

Garfield County Sheriff deputies on patrol

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO. – We are thankful for all the community support we are receiving.

Garfield County Deputies are still on patrol. They will be enforcing normal traffic laws in accordance with Colorado Laws for motor vehicles. They will stop violators who choose to break the law. Violators may expect Deputies to take appropriate action, issuing a summons/ticket or when necessary making an arrest. Deputies will take action based on the seriousness of the violation and in alignment with the health, safety and welfare of the other residents of Garfield County.

Our Deputies will be responding to emergencies as well as domestic disputes and performing all normal tasks generally delegated to them. Our Investigators are moving forward with their normal procedures when, as and where needed.

Temporarily closing the Administrative Offices at the Annex in Rifle will have no bearing on the day-to-day operations of our Deputies on Patrol.

We encourage all residents of Garfield County to continue to abide by the laws and together we will keep our communities and each other safe. Respect the Law Enforcement Officers that are out there serving and protecting you.

Garfield County Sheriff deputies on patrol