Rain not enough to end fire ban
The fire ban is still on in Garfield County.Even though the region has received frequent showers during the past few days, Garfield County commissioners voted to extend the countywide ban on open fires at their regular meeting Monday. Commissioner Trési Houpt said that even with the recent wet weather, reports indicate the county’s moisture levels are still not where they need to be to safely eliminate the ban. According to the Colorado Division of Water Resources, as of Sept. 1, the Colorado River basin’s surface water supply index was between moderate and severe drought levels. At these levels, fire risk is gauged to be high and very high, respectively. Fire bans have been lifted on both regional Bureau of Land Management lands and on the Rifle Ranger District section of the White River National Forest through special permits granted to those areas.But not so in other parts of the county. Before this past June, Garfield County commissioners only enacted fire bans on unincorporated portions of Garfield County. Federal lands and incorporated towns within the county were excluded from the county’s bans. However, commissioners adopted a resolution to their fire ban on June 14 to include “the entire geographic area of Garfield County at all altitudes.”Since then, the resolution has been renewed several times, including Monday’s decision to keep the ban in effect. Commissioners will look at lifting the ban again at an upcoming meeting. Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. email@example.com
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A report released this month by the Center for Colorado River Studies says that in order to sustainably manage the river in the face of climate change, officials need alternative management paradigms and a different way of thinking compared with the status quo. Estimates about how much water the Upper Colorado River Basin states will use in the future are a problem that needs rethinking, according to the white paper.