Fire ban issued by several area agencies |

Fire ban issued by several area agencies

A fire ban has been issued by the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Eagle County Sheriff’s Department due to dry conditions and warm weather.”The potential for wildland fires is high,” said Steve Bennett, Associate Field Manger for the BLM.On BLM lands administered by the Glenwood Springs office. The following acts are prohibited:-The burning of solid fuels, except in campgrounds or developed recreation sites with fire rings and grates, or when authorized.-Smoking, except in a vehicle, trailer, building or tent.-Using an explosive requiring a fuse or blasting caps, including fireworks.-Operating a chainsaw without an approved spark arrester and without a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher, of not less than eight ounces capacity by weight, and without a “O” or larger round point shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches. The fire extinguisher must be with equipment operators, and the shovel may be kept with fueling supplies but must be readily available.-Welding, or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame, except within an area that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials at least 10 feet on all sides from equipment.Those exempted from this order are people with permits, and federal, state or local members of organized firefighting or rescue groups in performance of an official duty.Violators face a fine of up to $1,000, and up to 12 months in jail. The fire ban remains in effect until rescinded.Eagle County Sheriff A.J. Johnson has placed restrictions on open burning on all lands in Eagle County.”These restrictions and limitations are not intended to diminish or restrict barbecuing or smoking in peoples’ backyards,” Johnson said. “All containers and appliances designed for cooking are excluded from the ban.”Johnson said ranchers who are still maintaining irrigation ditches and agricultural property are urged to burn fuels in the early morning hours before heavy winds develop.”People who obviously disregard the law and the fire conditions, or are negligent in the maintenance of their fire, will be held responsible for the costs of the suppression efforts,” he said.For more information, call the Glenwood Springs BLM office at 947-2800, or the Eagle County Sheriff’s Department at 328-8500.

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