Garfield County imposes stage-one fire restrictions | PostIndependent.com

Garfield County imposes stage-one fire restrictions

Tatiana Flowers
tflowers@postindependent.com

Garfield County fire officials have issued a countywide burning restriction that prohibits local residents from lighting campfires, smoking in certain areas and using explosive materials. The stage one fire restriction is in place until further notice, officials say.

The restrictions, set to commence Thursday in Carbondale and Rifle, and June 1 in Glenwood Springs, are at the behest of the Garfield County Sheriff's Office and other local fire officials, who say extremely dry conditions are a major hazard.

The National Weather Service has also issued a Red Flag Warning for Thursday in western Colorado and southeastern Utah, with temperatures reaching the low to mid 90s at lower elevations, high winds and very dry conditions forecast.

Campfires are officially banned in undeveloped areas under the fire restrictions. All fires must be lit within a metal structure or in an in-ground containment structure. Personal gas and charcoal grills are still allowed in developed areas.

Smoking is only permitted inside an enclosed vehicle or building that's at least three feet wide in diameter, and within sites free of vegetation, according to a joint press release from area fire protection districts. Explosive materials such as explosive targets and bullets, acetylene or other flammable substances are restricted except for in areas cleared of vegetation.

Fire officials say the restrictions are to be left in place until further notice, "until we receive a substantial amount of moisture. The fuel moisture content is low, there is not a lot of rain predicted in the near future and experts are predicting an increased wildfire risk in our area," Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District officials say in a press release.

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In response to the looming fire danger, the city of Glenwood Springs has already canceled the annual Fourth of July fireworks at Two Rivers Park, which will be replaced with a laser show that will be projected on Red Mountain. Officials say the risk of a wildfire is too great to hold the event.

For more information, contact local fire or police chiefs.