Fire restrictions returning to Garfield County Friday
Fire restrictions are being reinstated Friday and into the weekend for all of Garfield County, as bone dry conditions persist and precipitation has once again become scarce headed into autumn.
The first-stage restrictions will apply in all six municipalities and the unincorporated private and state lands within Garfield County. Federal land agencies are also reportedly considering a return to Stage 1 restrictions.
Most municipalities, including Carbondale, New Castle, Silt and Rifle, will join the county in imposing the restrictions on Friday. Glenwood Springs will wait until Saturday to enact Stage 1 restrictions, which will remain in place until further notice.
“Fire managers base decisions about fire restrictions on specific moisture measurements in vegetation and other risk factors,” according to a news release from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office. “With a lower than normal snowpack this past winter, recent hot and dry weather has created high fire danger at elevations below about 9,000 feet.”
Temporary restrictions include:
• Campfires are allowed within designated fire grates or in-ground containment structures in developed campgrounds. Fire pans and rock campfire rings are not allowed.
• No fires of any type including charcoal outside of developed areas. Backyard charcoal grills are permissible under Stage 1 restrictions. Within town limits, fire pits with screens that prevent sparks from dispersing are allowed, as are charcoal and gas grills and smokers.
• No smoking except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or in a barren area that’s free of vegetation.
• No use of explosive materials, including explosive targets or tracer rounds/exploding bullets, etc. The discharge of weapons with normal ammunition, used for hunting and target practice is permissible.
• No welding or operation of acetylene or other similar torch with open flame or any spark emitting operation, (cutting, grinding etc.) except in an area that has been cleared of vegetation.
• No operation of any internal combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed and in working order.
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Fire investigators are still working on determining the cause of Tuesday’s house fire in Glenwood Springs, which left no one injured but caused extensive damage.