Stage 1 fire restrictions go into effect across northwest Colorado
CRAIG, Colo. – Stage 1 fire restrictions begin Wednesday, July 15 for Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administered lands in Grand, Moffat, Rio Blanco, and Routt counties.
Recent hot, dry, and windy conditions across northwest Colorado have dried out fuels, while thunderstorms have delivered lightning with little or no moisture. In Rio Blanco County, at least eight wildfires ignited on BLM-managed lands yesterday. The Type 2 Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team Blue will assume responsibility for three of these, the Fawn Creek, Stewart, and Wolf fires, on Wednesday, July 15.
Based on these recent conditions, officials in Grand, Moffat, Rio Blanco, and Routt counties, along with the Little Snake, Kremmling and White River BLM field offices decided to implement stage 1 fire restrictions by this weekend.
“The rapid growth of recent fires in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties shows how volatile conditions currently are, and how quickly a small fire can grow to 1,000 acres,” said BLM White River Field Manager Kent Walter.
The BLM will enforce the following temporary restrictions on all BLM public lands under stage 1 fire restrictions until further notice:
- No fires of any type, including charcoal. Stoves fueled by liquid petroleum or gas are allowed.
- No smoking except within an enclosed vehicle or building or in a barren area free of vegetation.
- No use of explosive materials, including explosive targets.
- No welding or operation of an acetylene or other similar torch with open flame.
- No operation of any internal combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed and in working order.
These new stage 1 fire restrictions join a host of other current restrictions that exist in northwest Colorado and along the Upper Colorado River corridor, including Jackson, Eagle, Summit, Mesa, Garfield, and Pitkin counties, as well as BLM public lands within those counties. National Forests and Grasslands including the Arapaho/Roosevelt/Pawnee, White River, Grand Mesa/Uncompahgre/Gunnison, and Medicine Bow/Routt/Thunder Basin are also under stage 1 fire restrictions.
Stage 1 fire restrictions only allow campfires in developed recreation sites, such as formal campgrounds or picnic areas where permanent fire grates are installed. In these areas, people must monitor their fire at all times, and a have shovel and plenty of water available to put it out – the fire is out when coals are cold to the touch. Additionally, people should avoid parking in tall, dry grass; equipment should have working spark arresters, and trailers should be inspected to ensure chains are not dragging.
Maps and fire restriction orders are available at https://go.usa.gov/xfTJm. General information about fire restrictions in Colorado is available at http://www.coemergency.com/p/fire-bans-danger.html.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in the 11 Western states and Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In fiscal year 2018, the diverse activities authorized on BLM-managed lands generated $105 billion in economic output across the country. This economic activity supported 471,000 jobs and contributed substantial revenue to the U.S. Treasury and state governments, mostly through royalties on minerals.