Grand County officials mull fire restrictions | SkyHiNews.com

Grand County officials mull fire restrictions

Tonya Bina
tbina@skyhidailynews.com

A fire ban or restrictions may be put into effect in Grand County as early as next week, according to county officials.

Grand County Commissioner James Newberry, who was in on a conference call among agency and fire officials this week, said the Grand County Sheriff’s Office will likely be recommending a Stage 1 fire ban in the county at the Tuesday, June 12, county commissioners’ meeting.

Grand County Undersheriff Jim Campbell confirmed that fire restrictions in the county are “a possibility,” but added restrictions are not a certainty at this point.

The trend of drought conditions in the high country are the reason behind the ban discussion. A ban would be implemented as an extra preventative step during the wildfire season.

The details of what a Stage 1 fire ban might include in Grand County are being drafted by the Grand County attorney’s office.

“There will be a discussion on fireworks,” at next Tuesday’s commissioner meeting, according to Newberry.

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County commissioners ultimately vote about whether to implement fire restrictions.

Counties surrounding Grand County have restrictions or bans already implemented. As of Thursday, Summit, Routt, Clear Creek, Jackson, Eagle and Boulder counties had fire restrictions or bans in place, according to the Colorado Division of Emergency Management and recent reports.

As of Thursday, Grand County has not yet defined whether it will have a fire ban or restriction and what that will entail.

According to the Colorado Office of Emergency Management (www.coemergency.com), each local jurisdiction in Colorado has the authority to establish its own criteria for Stage 1 fire ban or restrictions and Stage 2 fire ban or restrictions.

Some Colorado counties define a stage 1 ban as prohibiting open burning of any kind, as well as the use and sale of fireworks. In contemplating a possible fire ban, Grand County officials plan to discuss the fireworks component at the Tuesday, June 12, county commissioners’ meeting.

Fires within liquid-fueled or gas-fueled stoves, fireplaces within buildings, charcoal grill fires within developed residential or commercial areas, and fires within wood burning stoves as well as professional fireworks have been allowed at other counties in the past under a Stage 1 fire ban. Tiki torches, small recreational fires at developed picnic or campground sites contained in permanent fire pits or fire grates, which are supervised by a responsible person at least 21 years of age, have also been allowed.

Source – The Colorado Division of Emergency Management, http://www.coemergency.com

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