Grand Junction, CO (June 19, 2012 ) – On Friday, June 22, the Bureau of Land Management (Northwest Colorado District) the White River National Forest and the National Park Service-Colorado National Monument will institute “Stage II Fire Restrictions.”
Fire officials and land managers met earlier in the week to determine a course of action to enact Stage II fire restrictions within the Upper Colorado River fire protection zone (UCR) based on the monitoring of conditions and forecasted weather for the area. Continued hot, dry and windy weather, low fuel moistures, low humidity and the factor of several large fires already burning within Colorado have caused fire managers added concern and prompted the need for additional restrictions.
Stage II fire restrictions prohibit:
- Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire, charcoal grill, coal, wood burning stove or sheepherders stove, including in developed camping and picnic grounds. Devices using pressurized liquid or gas are exempted;
- Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, trailer, building or tent;
- Using an explosive requiring fuse or blasting caps, fireworks, rockets, exploding targets and tracers or incendiary ammunition;
- Operating a chainsaw without an approved spark arrestor and without chemical pressurized fire extinguisher (8 oz. capability by weight or larger and kept with the operator) and without one “O” or larger round point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches that is readily available for use;
- Welding, or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame (except with a current permit, contract or letter of authorization and the welding area must be barren or cleared of all flammable material for 10 feet on all sides of the equipment);
The use of fireworks, flares or other incendiary devices is always prohibited on federal lands.
National Forest System lands within the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests, which includes the Grand Valley Ranger District, will remain under Stage I Fire restrictions that were enacted previously. Conditions on the Forests will continue to be actively monitored and additional restrictions may be enacted if conditions warrant.
Stage one fire restrictions on Forest Service lands prohibit : “building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire except a fire within a permanent constructed fire grate in a developed campground; Smoking 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; and operating or using any internal combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order is also prohibited.” Campers are permitted to use, “petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns or heating devices that meet the fire underwriters’ specifications for safety.”
Federal agencies use a three-stage process to limit human activities that could lead to wildfires. Stages I and II are addressed above. Stage III includes Stage I and II restrictions and prohibits all other burning.
“We thank the public for their support and continued cooperation to comply with fire restrictions. Conditions in Colorado and throughout the West are ripe for wildfire,” stated Chris Farinetti, Assistant Fire Management Officer for UCR. He went on to state, “Preventing human-caused fires will help keep the public and firefighters safe and also help prevent destruction of federal lands and private property. We appreciate your help!”
For more information, please reference the UCR website (listed above) and/or Forest Service, BLM and Park Service websites at: