Summit County officials consider fire ban |

Summit County officials consider fire ban

SUMMIT COUNTY – County fire chiefs sent an e-mail to County Sheriff Joe Morales Wednesday recommending the consideration of a possible fire ban in the county.

The recent classification of the fire danger as “high” has lead to a halt in the issue of permits for controlled burns for land clearing or bonfires.

The recommendation comes in part as a response to a recent red flag warning issued out of Grand Junction by the U.S. Forest Service that points to continued high winds and low humidity. Recent fires, including one that started Tuesday night between Rifle and Grand Junction, have also put fire departments on notice.

“There have been some human-caused fires nearby, and that has raised some concern,” said Jeff Berino, assistant fire chief for the Lake Dillon Fire Department.

While there are no current burn restrictions in place on Forest Service land, officials will meet Monday to discuss the possibility of a ban, Morales said.

Local officials will look to that decision as a guide for their own actions. They would prefer to avoid a countywide ban on burning without a Forest Service ban, because they don’t want to have a “patchwork of fire bans,” he said. Morales said any ban imposed could be lifted as conditions permitted.

– Aidan Leonard

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