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Campfires are a mainstay of camping, but poorly managed fires are a significant risk for major wildfires. Image: Unsplash/Colter Olmstead.

It might only be April, but the recent lack of moisture, dry conditions, and prevailing winds have combined to cause Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze to move Chaffee County to Stage 1 Fire Restrictions.

This includes all unincorporated lands in Chaffee County with the exception of USFS, BLM lands, City of Salida, City of Buena Vista and the Town of Poncha Springs.

Consult the above governments in regard to the requirements and prohibitions in their Stage 1 Restrictions.

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions prohibit all open burning including slash piles, debris piles, and agricultural land burning along with pyrotechnic or exploding targets.

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions allow:

  • Campfires within a permanently constructed fire ring or grate, 3 feet maximum in diameter in a developed campground, public or private, and or private property.
  • LP or liquid gas fires or stoves controlled by a valve
  • Fireplaces within a closed building with fire screens affixed to the flue
  • Charcoal grill fires and pellet stove fires at private residences.

All residents and visitors are reminded to exercise extreme caution when building or maintaining any type of fire. Chaffee County Deputies will be actively enforcing all restriction violations.