BLM fire restrictions continue in Garfield County
GRAND JUNCTION — Stage 1 fire restrictions on all lands managed by the BLM Grand Junction and Colorado River Valley Field Offices remain in effect.
Many areas of the state have received significant rainfall allowing those areas to remove fire restrictions. The recent rains locally are not significant enough for fire managers to remove restrictions. Conditions are monitored daily and the decision to remain in restrictions is evaluated weekly.
“Recent rains have helped, but fire potential remains high,” said Fire Management Specialist Lathan Johnson. Johnson notes that fire danger climbed back up in recent days. “We need people to remain vigilant until fuel moisture improves and we can get out of fire restrictions.”
Fire managers base decisions about fire restrictions on specific moisture measurements in vegetation and other risk factors. Monsoonal flows have allowed some relief in fire danger but high risk remains in elevations below 8,000 feet.
The BLM continues to 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 except from 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
• Fireworks are always prohibited on BLM, National Forest and National Park Service lands.
The BLM Grand Junction and Colorado River Valley Field Offices along with Garfield and Mesa Counties remain in restriction.
Restrictions on these BLM lands will be in place until further notice. Violation of federal fire restrictions is punishable by a fine of not more than $100,000 or imprisonment for not more than 12 months or both. Those found responsible for starting wildfires will also face restitution costs of suppressing the fire.
For more information about fire restrictions in these areas, log on to http://gacc.nifc.gov/rmcc/dispatch_centers/r2gjc/ or call the Colorado River Valley Field Office at 970-876-9000 or the Grand Junction Field Office at 970-244-3000.
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An axiom says the flood follows fire. The U.S. Forest Service and partners are working to determine potential problems in the 32,600-acre Grizzly Creek fire burn scar and steps to ease the risks this year in Glenwood Canyon.