The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Royal Gorge Field Office entered into stage 1 fire restrictions Monday due to dry conditions and high fire danger.
The fire restrictions apply to all BLM-administered public lands within the boundaries of Lake, Teller, Park, El Paso, Fremont, Chaffee, Custer, Pueblo, Otero, Bent, Huerfano, Las Animas and Baca counties until further notice.
“The recent and continuing windy conditions and low relative humidity have dried fuels, priming them for ignition,” said Royal Gorge Field Manager Keith Berger. “In order to reduce the risk of wildfire ignition and loss of values at risk, I am implementing stage 1 fire restrictions today.”
Under stage 1 fire restrictions, the following acts are prohibited:
• Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire except within agency-provided fire grates at developed recreation sites. Devices using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel are permitted.
• 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.
• Operating a chainsaw without a USDA or SAE-approved spark arrester properly installed and working, a chemical fire extinguisher of not less than eight ounces capacity by weight and one round-point shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches.
• Using a welder, either arc or gas, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame, except in cleared areas of at least 10 feet in diameter with a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher of not less than eight ounces capacity.
• Using exploding targets.
These fire restrictions are in addition to the year-round wildfire prevention restrictions on BLM-administered public lands in Colorado. These are:
• Leaving a fire unattended or unextinguished.
• Possession, discharge or use of any fireworks.
• Discharging a firearm using incendiary or tracer ammunition.
• Burning, igniting or causing to burn any tire, wire, magnesium, or any other hazardous or explosive material.
• Operating any off-road vehicle on public lands unless the vehicle is equipped with a properly installed spark arrester pursuant to 43 CFR 8343.1 (c).
For information about BLM Colorado fire restrictions, visit https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire-and-aviation/regional-information/colorado. For general information about fire restrictions on all lands in Colorado, visit http://www.coemergency.com/p/fire-bans-danger.html.
The U.S. Forest Service also entered into a stage 1 fire ban Monday, impacting additional public lands in Lake County.