Forest Service implements fire, recreation restrictions for Rocky Mountain region |

Forest Service implements fire, recreation restrictions for Rocky Mountain region

Sky-Hi News staff report

The US Forest Service announced the signing of two orders that temporarily closes recreation sites and implements fire restrictions within the Rocky Mountain region.

The Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Region includes 24 national forests and grasslands in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. These areas include Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests, the Pawnee National Grassland and Routt National Forest.

The fire restrictions prohibit igniting, building, maintain, attending or using a fire including charcoal grills and barbecues in the parks. Smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle, trailer or building, is also prohibited.

Some exemptions from the fire restrictions include people with a forest permit specifically exempting them from this order; officials or members of an organized rescue or firefighting force performing an official duty; pressurized liquid or gas devices with shut-off valves at least 3 feet away from flammable materials; and residents, owners or lessees within the given areas.

While some recreation opportunities remain available in the parks, developed recreation sites such as campgrounds, day-use areas, picnic areas and other facilities are closed. Dispersed camping, hiking and river uses are still allowed, though discouraged according to the US Forest Service. Parking, trails and trailheads remain open.

Visitors are encouraged to follow these safety and responsibility guidelines when visiting the forests or grasslands:

  • Stay close to home to keep other communities safe.
  • Stay 6 feet apart from others.
  • Avoid crowding in parking lots, trails, scenic overlooks and other areas.
  • Take CDC precautions to prevent illnesses like COVID-19.
  • Prepare for limited or no services, such as restroom facilities and garbage collection.
  • Prepare to pack out trash and human waste.

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