The U.S. Bureau of Land Management began Stage 2 fire restrictions Thursday in Chaffee, Custer, Fremont, Huerfano, Las Animas and Pueblo counties and moved Boulder, Gilpin and Lake counties to Stage 1 fire restrictions. Jefferson County has been at Stage 1 since June 11.
The BLM said the action is due to the current fire danger and predicted weather conditions for the affected areas.
Stage 1 restrictions prohibit any kind of open fire, camp fire, charcoal fire or grill except in BLM-provided grill areas. The restrictions also prohibit smoking unless inside enclosed vehicles or buildings, or in barren areas without flammable materials; and prohibits the use of any internal combustion engines or saws, except those with spark-arresting devices.
Counties under the BLM’s stricter Stage 2 restrictions have all the stipulations enforced for a Stage 1 area, plus the building or maintaining of any type of open fire or charcoal fire or grill is prohibited. There is no smoking of any kind allowed outside an enclosed vehicle or building.
Other prohibited activities include:
• The use of any kind of welding equipment or operation of an acetylene or similar torch within 20 feet of flammable materials.
• The use of any internal combustion engines or internal combustion saws, except under very limited conditions, which must include the presence of a fire extinguisher of an approved size and a shovel to put out any combustion from sparks.
The BLM will allow the use of cook stoves and lanterns as long as they have an on-off flame switch. Those seeking specific information regarding public lands in Chaffee County should contact Chaffee County Dispatch at 719-539-2596.