White River National Forest downgrades to Stage 1 fire restrictions | SummitDaily.com

White River National Forest downgrades to Stage 1 fire restrictions

Fire restrictions are being downgraded to Stage 1 on Friday for the entire White River National Forest and for lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management's Colorado River Valley Field Office in Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin counties. Cooler temperatures, increased moisture and humidity over the past few weeks were cited as the reason for the downgrading. The change goes into effect Friday morning.

"The last few weeks we have received some much needed moisture and cooler temperatures around the forest," said White River forest supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams.. "Stage 1 Restrictions will remain in place because the risk for wildfire is still out there. We are glad we are in a position to lift Stage 2 restrictions ahead of the holiday weekend, however we continue to ask the public to recreate responsibly."

The Dillon Ranger District, including all White River National Forest lands in Summit County, have been in Stage 1 Fire restrictions since Aug. 8and will remain in Stage 1 Fire Restrictions. BLM lands in Mesa County and those in Garfield County managed by the Grand Junction Field Office will no longer be under fire restrictions.

"Fire danger remains high and conditions can change daily, so we need people to continue to be vigilant," said BLM Colorado River Valley Acting Field Manager Gloria Tibbetts.

The following Stage 1 restrictions will be enforced on all White River National Forest lands and BLM lands managed by the CRVFO within Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin counties:

Campfires are only allowed within designated fire grates within developed campgrounds (i.e., a metal, in-ground containment structure – fire pans and rock campfire rings are not acceptable).No fires of any type, including charcoal, are allowed outside of developed areas, except fires that are maintained or attended within a device that has a spark arrestor and where the fire is fully enclosed at all times such as a sheepherder type stove.

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No smoking except within and enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or in a barren area at least three feet in diameter.

No welding or operation of an acetylene or other similar torch with open flame except in an area that has been cleared of vegetation ten feet on all sides.

No operation of any internal combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed and in working order.

Fireworks, exploding targets or other types of explosives are always prohibited on all national forest and BLM lands.

­­— Deepan Dutta