This is the 9th week of no fire restrictions in Summit County

Recent rains have contributed to an increase in small wildfire fuels like grass, pictured here July 7, 2022, so fire officials encourage people to mow their lawns and keep fuels in check as temperatures increase this summer. Despite high grasses, Summit County enters the 9th week of no fire restrictions, starkly different than last summer's fire restriction trend.
Luke Vidic/Summit Daily News

For the second week of August, Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons does not recommend fire restrictions.

According to FitzSimons, monsoonal rains are holding, energy release components continue to stay below the 90th percentile and no one in the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit is under a fire restriction. 

He added that starting Tuesday, Aug. 9, warm temperatures will last throughout Wednesday, with monsoonal rains coming back for the weekend. 

The two-week outlook calls for above average temperatures and above average precipitation, and the three-month outlook calls for above average temperatures and below average precipitation. 

FitzSimons said La Niña looks like it will “stick around,” causing a winter in Summit County similar to last year’s. Therefore, he said the season will most likely start off dry. La Niña, a weather pattern where cooler temperatures come off of the Pacific Ocean, causes warm and dry weather in southern areas. 

This far in the summer, Summit County commissioners rejoiced that environmental conditions still do not require restrictions, and they were happy to see FitzSimons come in for another week of “good news.” 

During the summer of 2021, a Stage 1 fire restriction started on June 18, and fluctuated between Stage 1 and Stage 2 until the end of July 2021, when fire restrictions were finally lifted.

Though Summit County has been free of fire restrictions for nine weeks now, FitzSimons is still weary, and said he’s waiting for the second something could change. 

“Grasses are growing taller,” he said, which poses a severe possibility of drying out to become wildfire fuel

The fire danger level is moderate and the Summit County Sheriff’s Office encourages residents and visitors to exercise caution.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.