As of June 7, the White National Forest and Garfield County have fire restrictions in place that do not allow open fires.
A news release said the Forest Service and sheriff's department are working together to prevent human-caused wildfires during this dangerously dry fire season. This decision was made in consultation with local fire departments and fire protection districts. It is based upon the current extreme burn index and long-range weather forecasts predicting continuing dry conditions with high winds, resulting in red flag warnings.
"I realize these restrictions will cause some inconveniences to forest users," said Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams. "But the conditions we are experiencing are severe. The potential for large expensive wildfires is real. We need to take these steps to minimize the potential for human-caused fire."
On the White River National Forest and in unincorporated Garfield County lands, the following activities are not allowed:
• Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, coal or wood-burning stove, any type of charcoal-fueled broiler or open fire of any type. EXCEPT: Fires are allowed in constructed, permanent fire pits or fire grates within developed Forest Service camp and picnic grounds or recreation sites. Also allowed are petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns or heating devices that meet the fire underwriter's specifications for safety. Fires that are maintained or attended within a device that has a spark arrestor or where the fire is fully enclosed within a screen at all times, are also allowed.
• Smoking cigarettes, except within an enclosed vehicle, building or developed recreation site.
• Operating a chain saw, except those with approved spark arrestors. Operator must have a shovel and fire extinguisher.
• 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.
• Fireworks are not allowed at any time on any public lands administered by the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management or National Park Service.
For the latest information on fire restrictions, call a Forest Service office or the Garfield County Sheriff's Department at 945-0453.