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In an announcement made Thursday afternoon, Sept. 23, Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze moved the county to Stage 1 fire restrictions effective tomorrow.

Spezze’s decision was made “due to dry conditions that are becoming prevalent throughout Chaffee County, the long-range forecast that predicts little to no moisture for our county and after conferring with our partners, Chief Doug Bess, Chief Robert Bertram, and the USFS. Unincorporated Chaffee County will be moving into Stage 1 Fire Restrictions effective 08:00 Friday, September 24, 2021.”

Stage 1 fire restrictions prohibit building, maintaining, or attending to any open fire.

Infrastructure improvements include trails and campgrounds and 50 projects in Colorado. Unsplash photo by Tegan Mierle/

Excluded from Stage 1 fire restrictions; therefore still allowed in this stage are:

  • Campfires within a permanent constructed ring or fire grate, 3 feet in diameter maximum, in a developed public campground, public picnic ground, commercial campground, or on private property. An example of a permanently constructed ring would be a cement ring that is not movable. Rocks lining a fire pit are not considered permanent and therefore in violation.
  • LP gas or liquid fueled stoves that allow the operator to turn the appliance on or off.
  • Fireplaces within enclosed buildings equipped with fire screens on the flue.
  • Charcoal grill fires at private residences.

This fire ban also prohibits the burning of debris piles, slash piles, ditches, and agricultural lands.

This fire ban applies to all unincorporated areas within Chaffee County but does not include the incorporated municipalities of Salida, Buena Vista, and Poncha Springs. It also does not include any federal land under USFS or BLM jurisdiction.

For more information please contact Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze at 719-207-3199