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Stage 2 fire restrictions for unincorporated Garfield County

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO. – June 29, 2018, at 12:00 am, the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management-Colorado River Valley Field Office, and the lands managed by this office, as well as the six fire districts in Garfield County, (Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District, the Glenwood Springs Fire Department, Colorado River Fire Rescue, Grand Valley Fire, Gypsum Fire and the DeBeque and Lower Valley Fire) enacted Stage 2 fire restrictions, until further notice, on all unincorporated private and state lands within Garfield County.

This supersedes the previous Stage I Fire Restrictions and is being imposed due to continuing high to extreme fire hazard conditions.

Fire managers base decisions about fire restrictions on specific moisture measurements in vegetation and other risk factors. With a lower than normal snowpack this past winter; recent hot and dry weather have created high fire danger at elevations below about 9,000 feet.

Stage 2 fire restrictions apply to all state and privately owned lands in unincorporated Garfield County and are as follows:

  • No fires/campfires/stove fires - this includes wood or charcoal burning stoves and fireplaces in mountain cabins.
  • No charcoal grills and no wood or coal fires for cooking purposes. This applies to personal and park charcoal grills or grates. Only natural gas or propane grills with a shut off valve shall be permitted. Allowed outdoor cooking fires shall be attended at all times until the fire is extinguished and cold.
  • No smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building.
  • No operating of any combustion engine, including chainsaws, without an approved spark arrester (properly installed), a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher, and a round-point shovel readily available for use.
  • No welding, spark emitting cutting, or operating acetylene or other torch with an open flame except for industrial use and then only with a Fire Department permit. This must be in a cleared area of at least 10 feet in diameter and there must be a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher, in possession, which is readily available in the immediate area of operations.
  • No use of any explosive. All explosives are prohibited, including: blasting caps, exploding targets, bullets, tracer rounds, model rockets, etc.
  • No fireworks. All fireworks are prohibited, including: toy caps, sparklers, snakes, smoke bombs, fountains, etc.

Those found responsible for starting wildfires will face restitution costs of suppressing the fire.

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank everyone in Garfield County for their cooperation in doing their part to keep us all safe.

For more information about fire restrictions in these areas, log on to the Garfield County Sheriff’s website or the Garfield County website at:

www.garcosheriff.com                               www.garfield-county.com

Tri-fold flyers are also available throughout the county and at most convenient stores that describe the current fire restrictions and ordinances in place in Garfield County.


BLM lands in Garfield County Stage 2 fire restrictions


Stage 2 fire restrictions began June 29 for Bureau of Land Management administered lands in Garfield County.

The BLM Colorado River Valley and Grand Junction field offices are enacted Stage 2 fire restrictions for the lands they manage in Garfield County concurrent with the county moving into Stage 2 restrictions for unincorporated private and state lands.

Stage 2 fire restrictions prohibit:

  • Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire, charcoal grill, coal, wood burning stove or sheepherders stove, including in developed camp and picnic grounds. Devices using pressurized liquid or gas are exempted;
  • Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, trailer, building or tent;
  • Using an explosive requiring fuse or blasting caps, rockets, exploding targets and tracers or incendiary ammunition;
  • Operating a chainsaw without an approved spark arrestor, and without a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher and a round-point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches that is readily available for use;
  • Welding, or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame except with a current permit, contract or letter of authorization.

The use of fireworks, flares or other incendiary devices is always prohibited on federal lands.

"Fire danger continues to increase with this hot and dry weather," said Gloria Tibbetts, Acting Field Manager for the Colorado River Valley Field Office. "In these conditions fires can start easily from a variety of sources. Please avoid parking or driving in tall dry grass, which can ignite from engine heat. It only takes one spark to start a wildfire – equipment should have working spark arresters and trailers should be inspected to ensure chains are not dragging."



White River National Forest Stage 2 fire restrictions

Stage 2 fire restrictions began June 29 for the entire White River National Forest. This order supersedes previous Stage 1 fire restrictions and is being imposed due to continuing high to extreme fire hazard conditions. Also effective, Bureau of Land Management administered lands in Eagle, Garfield, Pitkin and Summit counties are under Stage 2 fire restrictions.

Fire managers base decisions about fire restrictions on specific moisture measurements in vegetation and other risk factors such as predicted weather and amount of current fire activity.

The White River National Forest will be enforcing the following temporary restrictions:

 •    Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire, charcoal grill, coal, wood burning stove or sheepherders stove, including in developed camp and picnic grounds. Devices with shut-off valves using pressurized liquid or gas are exempted;
 •    Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, trailer, or building;
•    Using an explosive including but not limited to fuses or blasting caps, fireworks, rockets, exploding targets and tracers or incendiary ammunition;
•    Operating a chainsaw without an approved spark arrestor, and without a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher and a round-point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches that is readily available for use;
 •    Welding, or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame except with a current permit, contract or letter of authorization;
•    Use of a motor vehicles off National Forest System roads, except when parking in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the roadway, and except for parking overnight in developed campgrounds and at trailheads.

Fireworks are always prohibited on BLM, National Forest and National Park Service lands.

“We are urging people to use extreme caution out there and be diligent in preventing any fires on the forest during the upcoming 4th of July holiday week.” said Scott Fitzwilliams, Forest Supervisor for the White River National Forest. “Conditions are extremely dry and the weather outlook shows continued hot, dry windy conditions to come. We appreciate the public’s cooperation as we all work together to prevent human-caused wildfires. ”

Fire restrictions on these lands will be in place until further notice. Those found responsible for starting wildfires will also face restitution costs of suppressing the fire.

For more information about fire restrictions, go to: https://gacc.nifc.gov/rmcc/dispatch_centers/r2gjc/fireinfo_restrictions/index.html


Fireworks safety from Garfield County on Vimeo.


2018 Fireworks ban in Garfield County Garfield County Sheriff's Office logo GARFIELD COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
Date: June 28, 2018
Time: 7:20 a.m.

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO. – The recent ordinance enacted by the Garfield County Board of Commissioners on June 11, 2018, for the safety and welfare of the people of Garfield County, has caused a great deal of concern and questions amongst the people in our county.

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office will be working throughout the Fourth of July week, including both weekends, with other first responders and law enforcement officers to protect the citizens of Garfield County, and assure the statutes of the state of Colorado and the ordinances of the county are being followed. The following summarizes what you need to know:

Possession and use of fireworks for Garfield County in 2018
1) Legal fireworks are fine to purchase or possess, even when Stage I or Stage II fire restrictions have been established. It is the use of those fireworks which is currently illegal in unincorporated Garfield County (i.e. outside of the various municipal city limits; please check with each municipality for any restrictions they may have). On June 11, 2018 the Garfield County Board of Commissioners banned, by Ordinance 1018-1, the ignition of all fireworks in unincorporated Garfield County; including all state and private lands, whether the fireworks are legal or illegal (see definitions below). The ban is in effect until the “end of fire season,” as determined by the Garfield County Sheriff.

Possible penalties: This ordinance states that anyone violating this ordinance shall be subject to all surcharges set forth in § 30-15-402, C. R. S., as amended, and shall pay a fine of not more than $1,000.00 for each separate violation Understand - Due to this ordinance, at this time, even the normally legal fireworks are illegal to ignite.

Illegal Fireworks: The possession or use of illegal fireworks in Colorado is a Class 3 misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $50 to $750, and up to six months in jail. Beyond that, should you start a fire or be suspected of a fire that causes property damage or loss of life, you will be held responsible for the consequential damage, or in the very least be placed in a position of having to pay to defend yourself in a court of law. Definition of legal vs. illegal fireworks in Garfield County and the state of Colorado
1) Legal fireworks: Legal fireworks are those that are sold at the stand that don't leave the ground, don't explode, or don't emit fireballs. They may include snap pops, caps, fountains, ground spinners, smoke bombs, sparklers, and small cars/tanks with limited pyrotechnics. Remember, while the above ordinance is active, even these fireworks are illegal to ignite and you can be cited if you do so!

2) Illegal fireworks: Illegal fireworks include firecrackers, mortars, Roman candles, bottle rockets, cherry bombs, M-80s; basically anything that leaves the ground or explodes. Position of enforcement by the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office
The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office is concerned about the safety and welfare of all residents of Garfield County. We respect our nation’s Independence Day and everything that means, including the men and women who have fought and died for the very freedoms we enjoy. Because we respect the rights of every individual and are charged with upholding the laws of our state, as well as our nation, we will be working with area law enforcement officers and first responders to identify sources of all fireworks and people who may be illegally igniting them.

There will be zero tolerance for anyone who ignites any type of fireworks in rural Garfield County, and violates this ordinance. Citations will be issued as appropriate.
Furthermore, citations will be issued to anyone found to be in the possession of illegal fireworks within any municipality or rural area of Garfield County.
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Glenwood Springs, CO  81601
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