Stage 1 fire restrictions implemented across western Colorado

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Curecanti National Recreation Area, Montrose County, and the Gunnison and Uncompahgre Field Offices are affected
Fire danger ranges from very high to extreme.
Fire danger ranges from very high to extreme.(MGN | MGN)
Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 1:28 PM MDT|Updated: Jun. 14, 2022 at 4:11 PM MDT
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MONTROSE, Colo. (KKCO) - As of midnight Tuesday, the Uncompahgre and Gunnison Field Offices set Stage 1 fire restrictions in place. “The fire danger indices within the Southwest District are at very high to extreme, including high elevations,” said acting Southwest District Fire Management Officer James Savage. “These restrictions are being put in place due to the persistent drought and weather conditions.”

Unincorporated areas of Montrose county will be under Stage 1 restrictions beginning Wednesday, June 15. “Fire restrictions have become increasingly common for those of us in the western United States; however, they are important and necessary measures to help keep our public lands and community safe,” said Sheriff Gene Lillard. “As always, the sheriff’s office works closely with federal land management partners and adjoining counties to monitor conditions.”

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park will also be implementing Stage 1 restrictions on Wednesday, June 15, as will the Curecanti National Recreation Area.

Restrictions only apply to the unincorporated county area, and do not include the Montrose, Olathe, Naturita, or Nucla.

Under Stage 1 fire restrictions, campfires are only allowed within designated fire grates in developed campgrounds. Fires of any kind are banned outside of developed areas. Smoking is banned outside of enclosed vehicles, buildings, developed recreation sites, and completely barren areas. Explosives of any kind, including fireworks and explosive targets, are banned. Welding or operation of open-flame welding torches is banned. Combustion engines without installed spark arrestors in working condition are banned.

Violation of federal fire restrictions is punishable by a fine or by imprisonment. Those found guilty of starting fires will be responsible for providing restitution costs of suppressing the fire.

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