July 26, 2012
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – With rains and higher humidity lowering fire danger, fire restrictions on Bureau of Land Management lands in the Grand Junction and Colorado River Valley field offices will be lowered to Stage 1 beginning July 27.
The U.S. Forest Service Grand Valley Ranger District, which includes Uncompahgre National Forest lands in Mesa County and the Grand Mesa National Forest lands, will remain in Stage 1 fire restrictions.
Fire restrictions will be lifted on other National Forest System lands in the Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests effective July 27. The White River National Forest lifted their fire restrictions last week.
By moving to Stage 1, BLM is now permitting campfires in designated metal fire grates in developed campgrounds. Fires outside of these designated fire grates, including stone fire rings, fire pans, and charcoal grills are still prohibited. Propane and backpacking stoves are permitted.
Decisions about fire restrictions are based on specific moisture measurements in vegetation. Rains in the lower elevations and the western part of the Upper Colorado River Unit in particular have helped fire conditions but have not been consistent.
“The public has been very supportive of our fire restrictions during this extremely dry spring and summer,” said Chris Farinetti of the Upper Colorado River Interagency Management Unit. “While the fire danger is becoming less severe, it is still present and people need to continue to be very careful with fire and to continue abiding by these restrictions.”
Violation of federal fire restrictions is punishable by a fine of not more than $100,000 or imprisonment for not more than 12 months or both. Those found responsible for starting wildfires will also face restitution costs of suppressing the fire.
For more information about fire restrictions in these areas, log on to http://gacc.nifc.gov/rmcc/
Where are the designated metal fire grates on BLM lands in these areas?
The only places within the Grand Junction Field Office are the developed campgrounds: Mud Springs, North Fruita, Rabbit Valley, Castle Rocks, Knowles Canyon Overlook, and the Big Dominquez campgrounds.
The only places within the Colorado River Valley Field Office are the developed campgrounds: Catamount, Deep Creek, Gypsum, Lyons Gulch, Pinball, and Wolcott campgrounds.
Public Affairs Specialist
BLM NW Colorado District
2300 River Frontage Road
Silt, CO 81652