Fire restrictions remain in place for Grand County |

Fire restrictions remain in place for Grand County

The Silver Creek Fire is seen burning on U.S. National Forest land northwest of Kremmling during its height in September. Despite the cooler temperatures, fire restrictions continue for much of Grand County.
Courtesy / Grand County Sheriff’s Office

Temperatures in the high country are cooling down and while Grand County has received modest amounts of precipitation over the past few days fire restrictions remain in place, at least until next Tuesday.

In late September the Grand County Commissioners approved a resolution extending fire restrictions in the county through Oct. 9. Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin addressed the Commissioners on Sept. 25 and recommended the extension. Schroetlin noted that as of Sept. 25 Grand County still met five out of seven criteria on the Standardized Federal Fire Matrix.

The Federal Fire Matrix is a formalized checklist fire officials rely upon when determining the need for fire restrictions. The factors on the checklist are related to moisture content in fuels, availability of firefighting resources and drought indicators among other topics. Fire restrictions are typically implemented once at least four of the seven factors have been met.

“I know it is late in the season and people are wanting to have campfires,” Schroetlin said. “But we are not at that point.”

Schroetlin noted that Grand County’s ongoing fire danger level is not abnormal saying, “the rest of the region is in the same boat.”

The resolution approved by the Commissioners on Sept. 25 implemented Stage One fire restrictions for most of Grand County and a Stage Three fire ban for a section of Grand County’s far western reaches.

The Stage Three fire ban restricts all fire activities other than those undertaken by fire officials and explicitly permitted fires whose operators hold fire permits. It further restricts the use of any welding equipment and the discharging of any firearms within the designated Stage Three fire ban area.

The Stage Three fire ban applies to all unincorporated lands from the Grand County and Routt County line on US Highway 40, on Rabbit Ears Pass, to a point one mile south of the intersection of State Highway 134 and US 40. The area impacted by the Stage Three fire ban is the area where the Silver Creek Fire continues to burn.

The rest of Grand County remains under Stage One fire restrictions at this time. The use of liquid or gas fueled appliances, approved wood pellet grills and stoves, portable outdoor fireplaces, fire pits, barbecue pits and charcoal grills at private residences, park, campground or picnic areas are excluded from the fire restrictions among other forms of fires.

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