Grand reduces fire restrictions to Stage 1
Grand County has moved from Stage 2 to Stage 1 fire restrictions, which means open flames are once again permitted in a number of situations.
All of Grand County’s federal partners, including the Bureau of Land Management’s Kremmling Field Office, the Sulphur Ranger District of Arapaho National Forest and the Routt National Forest, also moved to Stage 1 restrictions.
The Grand County Sheriff’s Office, in cooperation with federal partners and local fire districts, monitors fire conditions and the necessity of restrictions. Decisions surrounding fire restrictions are based on a matrix used across northwest Colorado.
The sheriff’s recommendation was made to county commissioners after cooperating agencies jointly reviewed the data showing reduced fire risk in the county.
Under Stage 1, open fires are still prohibited outside of developed recreation sites, so dispersed campfires in forested areas are not allowed. However, open fires are allowed in developed campgrounds with permanently constructed fire grates and charcoal grills.
Open fires are also allowed at private residences within permanent or portable outdoor fireplaces. Fireworks are allowed, according to state statute, though they are never allowed on national forest lands.
However, residents and visitors are reminded that a lower fire risk doesn’t mean there’s no risk.
“People will be allowed to have campfires in developed sites, but they still need to make sure they build fires properly, contained within the provided metal or concrete rings, and use large buckets of water to put all the coals out cold,” Arapaho National Forest Fire Management Officer Cody Peel said.
For more on current fire restrictions, go to http://www.BeWildfireReady.org.
The following activities and uses are prohibited under Stage 1 restrictions:
• Igniting, building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire (including fires fueled by charcoal or briquettes) outside of a permanent metal or concrete fire pit or grate that the Forest Service has installed and maintained at its developed recreation sites (paid campgrounds and picnic areas).
• Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed campground or picnic area or while stopped in an area of at least six feet in diameter that is barren of all combustible materials.
• Operating a chainsaw without an USDA or SAE approved spark-arresting device properly installed and in working order.
• Welding or operating torches with open flame, except in an area of at least ten feet in diameter that is barren of all combustible materials.
• Incendiary devices (Note: fireworks are always illegal on the national forest).
The following activities and uses are allowed under Stage 1 restrictions:
• Open fires in developed campgrounds with fees and hosts or picnic areas with permanently constructed fire grates and/or charcoal grills.
• Fires contained within liquid or gas fueled stoves, lanterns or heating devices, and approved wood pellet grills and stoves.
• Open fires at private residences within permanent or portable outdoor fireplaces, fire pits, chimineas, and/or grills.
• Permissible fireworks according to state statute. The permitted, professional fireworks displays in Grand County are allowed. Fireworks are never allowed on the National Forests.
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The Grand County Sheriff’s Office fielded 177 calls from Jan. 9-15 while dispatchers answered 487 calls for all first-responder agencies in the county.