The Crestone Eagle, July 2004:

Fire bans & restrictions in effect for National Forest, Crestone & Baca

Lack of precipitation in May and most of June has led to drought conditions in Saguache County with fire bans in effect in Crestone and public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and Rio Grande National Forest.

In Crestone there is a ban on outdoor fires and the burning of trash, weeds or dry grass. Covered outdoor barbecuing or smoking outdoors is permissible using caution and vigilance. The Baca subdivision requests obtaining a burn permit to ensure fire fighters are in the area. Our “fuel moisture is extremely low,” says Kimberly Bryant of the Baca Grande Volunteer Fire Dept. Rain late in June has helped, but just a few days of sunshine could dry us out again.

Effective as of June 21, 2004 until rescinded the public lands of the Bureau of Land Management and the Rio Grande National Forest have the following prohibitions: no open fire (camp fire, coal, charcoal or wood stove). The only exception to the preceeding is fire in a developed camp ground such as North Crestone, recreation site or picnic area with established grates or grills. No smoking except within an enclosed vehicle or building or developed recreation site. No use of explosive materials including fireworks or any ignition of flammable material. No use of internal or external combustion engines without a spark arrestor. Violations are a Class B misdemeanor with a $5000 fine, imprisonment or both. Parties responsible for starting fires are liable for the cost of the fire.

Saguache County Sheriff Mike Norris says that the county has not declared a fire ban as of July 1, but may declare one later in the month if conditions do not imporve. Fireworks, other than sparklers, are prohibited. Everyone is urged to please be very careful with fire. Avoid driving on dry grass and be extra vigilant.

If you see smoke or suspect a fire call 911 or the Saguache County Sheriff’s office at 719-655-2525.

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