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Release Date: 06/27/12
Contacts: Shannon Borders, 970-240-5399    
  Chris Barth, 970-240-5317    

BLM Institutes Stage Two Fire Restrictions (06-27-12)

MONTROSE, Colo. – On Thursday, June 28, the Bureau of Land Management will institute Stage II fire restrictions on public lands in Delta, Gunnison, Montrose, Ouray, Saguache and San Miguel Counties and Stage I fire restrictions will go into effect in Hinsdale and San Juan Counties. 

“At the beginning of the month, the county, state and federal officials determined a need for stage one fire restrictions at lower elevations due to the drought,” said Barbara Sharrow, BLM Uncompahgre field manager. “As the dry conditions persist, we are expanding fire restrictions throughout the Uncompahgre and Gunnison field offices with exemptions to allow industry operations to continue.”

Fire restrictions vary depending on the whether the land is managed by a federal agency or is privately owned.  The following acts are prohibited under Stage I restrictions within the Restricted Areas:
• Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire.
o EXCEPTIONS:  Petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns or heating devices are allowed and fires are allowed in constructed, permanent fire pits or fire grates within developed recreation sites.
• Smoking.
o EXCEPTIONS:  Smoking is allowed within an enclosed vehicle or building, in a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
• Using an explosive (such as fireworks, blasting caps, or any incendiary device that might result in the ignition of flammable material).
• Welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame.
• Operating or using any internal combustion engine without a spark-arresting device properly installed, maintained, and in effective working order meeting the appropriate Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) recommended practice J335(b) and J350(a).

The following acts are prohibited under Stage II restrictions within the Restricted Areas:
• Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, wood or charcoal-fueled stove.
o Exemption: Pressurized liquid-fueled stoves with an on/off switch or valve.
• Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building.
• Blasting, welding, or other activities which generate a flame, or may result in the ignition of flammable material.
• Operating or using any internal combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained, and in effective working order.
• Possessing or using a motor vehicle or OHV off established roads, except when parking in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the roadway; and except for parking overnight in developed campgrounds and trailheads.

The use of fireworks, flares or other incendiary devices is always prohibited on federal lands. 

Exemptions within Stage I and II include authorized activities any Federal, State or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty. Additionally, within Stage II exemptions include holders of valid BLM permits, leases and authorizations are allowed to conduct authorized activities, but are advised to take extra precautions to prevent fire starts (such as wetting down areas where welding is occurring, maintaining a fire extinguisher and water on construction sites and clearing vegetation where authorized).
The federal agencies continously monitor conditions and will modify the restrictions as needed.  Federal agencies use a three-stage process to limit human activities that could lead to wildfires. Stage one and two are addressed above.  Stage three includes stage one and two restrictions and prohibits all other burning.

“We encourage the public to enjoy their time on their public lands. Before leaving home, we suggest people become aware of restrictions that are in place for their safety and to prevent wildfires, ” said Brian St. George, BLM Gunnison field manager.

For more information go to:
• BLM Gunnison Field Office -
• BLM Uncompahgre Field Office -
To determine fire restrictions beyond the public lands go to the following websites:
• Delta -
• Gunnison -
• Montrose -
• Ouray -
• Saguache  -
• San Miguel -
• Hinsdale -
• San Juan -

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 sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

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Last updated: 06-27-2012