Staff Report
Rifle, CO Colorado

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May 23, 2012
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Hot and dry weather leads to fire and fireworks restrictions

The hot, dry, windy weather of the last month or so has heightened the awareness of fire danger on Colorado's Western Slope and elsewhere.

As provided in the Rifle Municipal Code, open burning fires, which includes the sale, possession and use of fireworks, is prohibited in the city of Rifle and Rifle Mountain Park from Memorial Day to Labor Day each year.

Fireworks include almost all forms, including bottle rockets, Roman candles, firecrackers, fountains, spinners and, yes, even sparklers.

Fire restrictions on Bureau of Land Management lands in the Grand Junction and Colorado River Valley field offices begin today, May 24.

This includes BLM lands in Eagle, Garfield, Mesa and Pitkin counties. Some portions of southern Routt County and northern portions of Delta and Montrose counties are also included within these BLM field office boundaries and covered by these restrictions.

Fire managers base decisions about fire restrictions on specific moisture measurements in vegetation. The unusually dry spring has increased fire danger to high levels at elevations below 8,000 feet.

The BLM will enforce temporary restrictions of:

• campfires are only allowed within designated fire grates in developed campgrounds (i.e. a metal, in-ground containment structure - fire pans and rock campfires rings are not acceptable)

• no fires of any type including charcoal outside of developed areas

• no smoking except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or in a barren area free of vegetation

no use of explosive materials

• 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

Fireworks are always prohibited on BLM, National Forest and National Park Service lands.

For more information about fire restrictions in these areas, call the Grand Junction Field Office at (970) 244-3000 or the Colorado River Valley Field Office at 876-9000.

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The Post Independent Updated May 23, 2012 06:00PM Published May 23, 2012 05:59PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.