Grand County moves back to stage one fire restrictions
- Open burning and open fires including campfires, recreational fires, cooking fires and portable outdoor fires among others.
- Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, at developed recreation sites, or in areas with at least a six-foot diameter of barren ground.
- Use of chainsaws without approved spark arrestors.
- The operation of welding or acetylene torches except when used in areas with at least a 10-foot diameter of barren ground.
- Fireworks except for professional fireworks displays.
- Professional fireworks displays.
- Liquid or gas fueled appliances.
- Permanent or portable outdoor fireplaces, barbecue pits or charcoal grills at private residences or in developed parks or campgrounds.
Grand County is moving back into stage one fire restrictions this week.
The decision to transition from stage two fire restrictions to the less restrictive stage one fire restrictions was made by Grand County’s Commissioners during a public discussion session Tuesday afternoon. Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin and East Grand Fire Chief Todd Holzwarth participated in the discussion along with the commissioners.
Schroetlin informed the commissioners that officials from the Bureau of Land Management recently rated Grand County as meeting six out of seven criteria on the Standardized Federal Fire Matrix, which 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.
Both Schroetlin and Holzwarth noted, however, that Grand County has not seen any reports of human-caused fires recently and that the vast majority of Grand County’s firefighting resources are readily available within the county.
“I think we still need something. We are probably legitimately at five out of seven (restriction factors) because of minimal amounts of human caused fires,” Holzwarth said. “We could drop back to stage one. But I don’t think we want to let it expire to nothing.”
Schroetlin concurred with Holzwarth’s assessment and recommended the commissioners either transition to stage one restrictions or extend the stage two restrictions for at least one more week.
The commissioners voted unanimously to move to stage one restrictions. The new stage one restrictions, which formally went into effect at 4 p.m. Tuesday, are the exact same stage one restrictions put in place by the commissioners in late June. The ban still restricts open burning and open fires at dispersed campgrounds, but exempts several types of burning.
Included among the exempted forms are burning are liquid and gas fueled appliances as well as portable outdoor fireplaces and charcoal grills when used at private residences or in developed campgrounds.
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