By Tara Walker
On July 24th , Grand County Commissioners unanimously agreed to rescind stage 2 fire restrictions and downgrade to Stage 1 fire restrictions. During the discussion with commissioners, Sheriff Brett Schroetlin and fire officials, participants agreed that humidity levels were improved and many areas have had intermittent rain showers to help conditions. There has also been a reduction in human-caused fires.
However, as fire danger is still high, stage 1 fire restrictions are in effect for 30 days or until conditions
Open fires in developed campgrounds with permanently constructed fire grates are allowed as are open fires at private residences and charcoal grills. Smoking is allowed in enclosed buildings and vehicle or in an area cleared of combustible materials.
Forest Service and BLM are also in stage 1. This means that campfires with permanently constructed grates at a developed campground are allowed, but dispersed campfires are not permitted. The Sheriff’s department’s hotline has current updates at 970-725-3852. The July 25th hotline recording reminds residents to keep fires within a diameter of 3 feet with a flame height of fewer than 2 feet tall and always have extinguishment measures available close by.
Grand County Wildfire Council gave a July 24th update at Bewildfireready.org reminding Grand County residents that Fire Danger in most of Grand County is high. The website also reminds users that Code Red is used by Grand County Sheriff’s office to contact you in emergency situations or for critical community alerts. You can register on their website or contact Grand County Office of Emergency
Management for assistance at 970-887-2732.
What is restricted?
* 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 that is cleared of all combustible.
* Use of chainsaws without approved spark arrestors.
- welding or operating acetylene torches except when used in areas with at least a 10-foot diameter of barren ground and in possession of a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher.
What is allowed?
* Permissible fireworks as defined by C.R.S. 24-33.5-201 (5) and (11). Any person in possession of fireworks in compliance shall not be in violation of the resolution.
* Liquid or gas fueled appliances.
* Use of approved wood pellet grills and stoves.
* Permanent or portable outdoor fireplaces, barbecue pits or charcoal grills at private residences or in developed parks, campgrounds or picnic areas.
* Fire Department/District training fires