Due to unseasonably warm temperatures, dry conditions, and continued high fire danger ratings across the Front Range, Stage 2 Fire Restrictions went into effect on Thursday, Oct. 15, for all BLM-administered lands in the Royal Gorge Field Office. This includes Chaffee County.
“These fire restrictions are being put in place due to an unseasonably dry and windy fall,” said Royal Gorge Field Manager Keith Berger. “Despite the late date, fire danger has been steadily increasing and the forecast does not show signs of relief anytime soon.”
Stage 2 fire restrictions are in effect for all BLM-administered lands in Baca, Bent, Boulder, Chaffee, Clear Creek, Crowley, Custer, El Paso, Fremont, Gilpin, Huerfano, Jefferson, Kiowa, Lake, Larimer, Las Animas, Lincoln, Logan, Morgan, Otero, Park, Prowers, Pueblo, Sedgwick, Teller, Washington, Weld, and Yuma counties.
Under Stage 2 Fire Restrictions the following are prohibited:
- Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, charcoal barbecue, or grills are prohibited on federal lands. The use of portable stoves or lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel are allowed.
- Smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
- Operating a chainsaw without a USDA or SAE approved spark arrester properly installed and working, a chemical fire extinguisher of not less than 8 ounces capacity by weight, and one round point shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches.
- Using a welder, either arc or gas, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.
- Using exploding targets.
These fire restrictions are in addition to the year-round wildfire prevention restrictions on BLM-administered public lands in Colorado. These prohibit:
- Leaving a fire unattended or unextinguished.
- Possession, discharge or use of any fireworks.
- Discharge of a firearm using incendiary or tracer ammunition.
- Burn, ignite or cause to burn any tire, wire, magnesium, or any other hazardous or explosive material.
- Operate any off-road vehicle on public lands unless the vehicle is equipped with a properly installed spark arrester pursuant to 43 CFR 8343.1(c).
For more information about current fire restrictions in the Royal Gorge Field Office, please visit the Rocky Mountain District Fire Restrictions page or call the Royal Gorge Field Office at 719-269-8500. The Pike and San Isabel National Forests also have fire restrictions in place in eastern Colorado. Please visit their interactive fire restriction map or call the Forest Supervisor’s office at 719-553-1400 for more information. Fire restrictions will be in place until further notice. In addition to criminal penalties, those found responsible for starting wildfires may also face restitution costs of suppressing the fire.