Update: Summit County lifts fire restrictions as US Forest Service begins pile burning | SummitDaily.com

Update: Summit County lifts fire restrictions as US Forest Service begins pile burning

Slash piles burn along Swan Mountain Road on Nov. 15, 2018, near Frisco.
Photo by Hugh Carey / Summit Daily archives

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include information about Summit County lifting fire restrictions.

Summit County lifted its Stage 2 fire restrictions Tuesday afternoon after significant snowfall and colder weather over the weekend helped reduce the fire danger throughout the area.

The change went into effect immediately in conjunction with the Dillon Ranger District of the White River National Forest, which also lifted its restrictions Tuesday.

“With snow on the ground, our fire danger is finally substantially lower after a long stretch of warm, dry weather,” Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier said in a news release. “All our partners are on the same page, so it’s the right time for us to lift fire restrictions now in Summit County.”

The Summit County Shooting Range also will reopen with normal operating hours.

While the Stage 2 restrictions have been dropped, Summit County’s year-round fire codes still prohibit building, maintaining or using an open fire. Other prohibitions include fireworks, tracer ammunition or explosive projectiles, recreational explosives and the disposal of any burning object outdoors.

Fires are allowed in constructed, permanent fire pits or grates within developed recreation sites. Fires are also allowed on private property if permitted by local fire districts.

The U.S. Forest Service also announced Tuesday that it would begin conducting pile-burning operations at Keystone Gulch this week.

The pile burning, which began Tuesday, is expected to take place Thursday, Nov. 12, with ignitions expected to begin at 10 a.m. Smoke and flames may be visible from Interstate 70, Colorado Highway 9 and the surrounding towns.

The piles will be allowed to burn and smolder overnight unattended, and fire management personnel will be on scene during the day to monitor fuel consumption and possible smoke impacts. Monitoring will occur periodically over the coming days until the piles are out.

The purpose of pile burning is to help reduce fuel loading that occurred during hazardous tree and wildfire fuels removal projects, according to the Forest Service.

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