Fire bans are implemented for our safety |

Fire bans are implemented for our safety

The season has officially arrived.With wildfire danger ratcheting up by the day, Garfield County implemented an open fire ban Monday, and the Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction offices of the Bureau of Land Management have set Thursday as the beginning of that agency’s fire ban.According to David Boyd, BLM public affairs specialist, conditions at elevations lower than 8,000 feet are more dangerous than they were at this time in 2002 during the Coal Seam Fire. That same scorching summer, fires raged throughout the state, including the Missionary Ridge Fire in Durango and the Hayman Fire on the Front Range.Fire devastating regions throughout the state and West: It illustrated the havoc wildfires bring. None of us will forget the devastating Coal Seam Fire that burned more than 12,000 acres and destroyed 29 structures, or the shroud of smoke that enveloped Glenwood Springs and the surrounding communities for weeks. It’s more difficult to keep in mind just how easily wildfires can ignite, until it’s too late. There’s little that can be done about wildfires caused by natural forces, like the coal seam, but just as many blazes begin at the hands of humans. A flick of a cigarette butt – just take a look at the 30 acres of freshly charred earth in north Rifle – or an inattentive camper who fails to completely douse the campfire are just a couple of common causes of fire.And, with the Fourth of July holiday just around the corner, the combination of flaming flying objects and tinder-dry conditions is always a concern.Garfield County and the BLM don’t issue fire bans without good reason, and bans shouldn’t be taken lightly. Get outdoors and have fun, but follow the rules of the fire bans.Fire bans are for our safety. Just look at what happens when a wildfire goes out of control.Remembering the effects of a wildfire is easy. Taking the time to avoid the wildfire in the first place is more difficult – and more important.

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