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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
 
Release Date: 05/21/12
Contacts: Shannon Borders, 970-240-5399 BLM; Lee Ann Loupe, 970.874.6717 FS    

BLM and U.S. Forest Service institute fire restrictions in Gunnison County (05-21-12)



GUNNISON, Colo. – On Monday, May 21, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service will institute stage one fire restrictions within Gunnison County on public lands.  At this time, only lands within the Gunnison Ranger District for the Forest Service are affected by the restrictions. 

“Last week, the Gunnison County Commissioners signed orders to begin fire restrictions county wide,” said Lori Armstrong, BLM southwest district manager. “The federal agencies are also issuing restrictions; although, the restrictions vary depending on the whether the land is managed by a federal agency or is privately owned.”

Stage one fire restrictions on public land managed by the BLM and USFS prohibit building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire except a fire within a permanent constructed fire grate in a developed campground.  Also, smoking is prohibited on public land except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials. Operating or using any internal combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order is also prohibited.

The use of fireworks, flares or other incendiary devices is always prohibited on public land. 

To review the fire restrictions beyond the public lands in Gunnison County, go to http://www.gunnisoncounty.org/commissioners_pdf/resolutions/2012/Resolution_2012-14.PDF
 
The agencies continously monitor the conditions throughout the area and will modify the restrictions as needed.  Federal agencies use a three-stage process to limit activities that could cause wild fires during drought conditions.  Stage one restricts the activites as indicated above.  Stage two includes all stage one restrictions plus prohibits welding, the use of chainsaws as well as building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire or stove fire. Stage three prohibits all burning.

“Although there is green vegetation in the area, the lack of moisture throughout the winter has presented us with drought conditions early in the season, and wildland fire is a very serious concern,” said Sherry Hazelhurst, acting forest supervisor. “We encourage the public to plan ahead by contacting our offices and/or the Forest website for information on fire restrictions prior to enjoying their public lands.”

For more information, contact the BLM at 970-642-4940 or go to http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/gfo.html.  Contact the USFS at 970-874-6600.



The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.
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Last updated: 07-19-2012