Beginning immediately, Stage 1 fire restrictions are in place on public lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service for Pike and San Isabel National Forests located in Fremont, Chaffee, Clear Creek, Custer, Douglas, El Paso, Huerfano, Jefferson, Lake, Las Animas, Park, Pueblo, Saguache and Teller counties.
Restrictions will remain in effect until they are rescinded.
Fire danger is very high and USFS fire managers anticipate a high potential for large fires. Restrictions for the public lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service include:
1) Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, barbecue, grill or stove fire. 36 CFR § 261.52(a).
EXCEPT: Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire in constructed, permanent fire pits or fire grates within developed recreation sites and the use of portable stoves, lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum, pressurized liquid fuel or a fully enclosed (sheepherder type) stove with a ¼” spark arrester type screen is permitted.
2) Smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials. 36 CFR § 261.52(d).
3) Operating a chainsaw without a USDA or SAE approved spark arrester properly installed and in effective working order, a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of 2A kept with the operator and one round point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches readily available for use. 36 CFR § 261.52(h).
4) Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame except in cleared areas of at least 10 feet in diameter and in possession of a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of at least 2A. 36 CFR § 261.52(i).
5) Using an explosive. 36 CFR § 261.52 (b).
Even with the restrictions, visitors should be aware of weather conditions and be careful with the use of fire outdoors. Visitors should check with their local U.S. Forest Service office or go to the web at: http://fs.usda.gov/psicc/ Fire Information to learn about specific restrictions.
Fire Safety Message
• Make sure that you can have a campfire and obey all fire restrictions.
• Keep a bucket of water and a shovel near the campfire
• When putting a campfire out, drown it with water, stir the fire with dirt and more water until all the fuel is cold to the touch. Never leave a fire until it is out cold
• If you do not have water, use dirt. Mix enough dirt or sand with the embers. Continue adding and stirring until all material is cool. Remember, DO NOT bury the fire as the fire will continue to smolder and could catch roots on fire that will eventually get to the surface and start a wildfire.
Stage 1 prohibits:
1. All agricultural burning, including but not limited to weeds, brush, or grass;
2. Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, coal or wood burning stove, fireplace, any type of charcoal or wood fueled cooking, or open fire of any type in an undeveloped area. Use of a coal or wood-burning stove or fireplace in a private residence in an undeveloped area is allowed only if the flue pipe, chimney, or other exhaust structure is equipped with a properly installed NFPA-approved spark arrestor, such as a chimney cap.
a. Campfires contained in constructed, permanent fire pits or fire grates within a developed recreation area are allowed;
b. Grills using propane and other bottled fuels are allowed only in areas free of flammable vegetation and other flammable materials, and must be used in a manner which present no fire danger to the surrounding area;
c. No fire or grill shall be left unattended, and shall have an adequate water supply and/or fire extinguisher on site.
3. All burning of trash, refuse or other debris.
4. Smoking; except within an enclosed vehicle, building, or outdoor smoking area that is hard-surfaced, barren, or otherwise cleared of all flammable vegetation and material. Discarding of cigarette butts in a receptacle not designed for disposal of cigarette butts, or at any location, or from any vehicle is expressly prohibited.
5. Using any explosives materials, to include: fireworks, solid fuel rockets, blasting caps or any incendiary device which may result in the ignition of flammable material;
6. Outdoor welding, grinding or use of a ny type of torch in any area which presents the possibility of igniting vegetation or other combustible material, and there must be an adequate water supply and/or fire extinguisher on site;
7. Operating any outdoor equipment or machinery in an undeveloped area with an internal combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order meeting either: a. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service Standard 5100-1a; or b. Appropriate Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) recommended practice J335(b) and J350(a);
8. Sale, use and possession of fireworks, including permissible fireworks as defined in §12-28-101, C.R.S., however in no instance shall the sale, use and possession be prohibited for more than one year from the date of imposition of the fire restrictions until the suspension of the same.