As some towns implement fire restrictions, Summit County says criteria have not yet been met
Following the announcement Friday, June 11, that Frisco, Dillon and Silverthorne had implemented Stage 1 fire restrictions, Summit County officials said the criteria have not yet been met for the county to implement restrictions.
Differing fire restrictions throughout the county is somewhat unusual as municipalities, the county and the U.S. Forest Service typically try to act together to implement fire restrictions in order to avoid confusion among residents and visitors about what’s allowed.
Earlier this year, Summit County amended its fire code to better align with the Forest Service and simplify communication regarding fire restrictions, according to a news release from the county.
For the past two years, Summit County operated under year-round fire restrictions — what most communities would call Stage 1 restrictions — which prohibit things like fireworks, tracer ammunition, unpermitted fires and more.
In March, county officials voiced a desire to abolish the year-round fire restrictions and instead return to a more traditional model where the county commissioners would approve Stage 1 and Stage 2 restrictions. The change was approved earlier this year.
The Summit County Board of Commissioners is expected to discuss restrictions at its next meeting Tuesday, June 15. In order to implement Stage 1 restrictions, the following conditions must be met:
- Energy-release component of 90% to 96% in past five days
- High human caused risk
- Live fuel moistures at or approaching historic thresholds
- No significant relief in fire weather in seven-day forecast
Despite very high fire danger in the area, Summit County has met only one of the four restrictions: live fuel moistures at or approaching historic thresholds, according to the news release.
If hot, dry weather persists, county officials anticipate the criteria could be met by the time the board meets early next week.
Fire officials urged residents and visitors to be cautious, saying more than 80% of wildfires are caused by humans.
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