White River Forest may tighten fire restrictions, doesn’t plan to ban access | SummitDaily.com

White River Forest may tighten fire restrictions, doesn’t plan to ban access

Jane Reuter

SILVERTHORNE – Fire restrictions in the White River National Forest are tightening. Nevertheless, assistant district ranger Mike Liu said he doesn’t expect users will be prohibited from using the forest as they have in the Pike National Forest.

“We wouldn’t want to restrict access into the National Forest without compelling reasons,” Liu said. “The Pike obviously felt they needed to do that, given their conditions. The White River isn’t there yet.”

The Hayman fire, burning in the Pike forest, reportedly began with an illegal, unattended campfire.

“We would like to think that responsible forest users would comply with our regulations and restrictions when they apply and not leave their fires unattended,” Liu said. “Whether folks like the fire restrictions or not, we aren’t being arbitrary. There’s a reason we have those restrictions there.”

In Summit County, Liu said the Forest Service is complying with Summit County’s fire restrictions, which calls for no fires at all. That means campers basically are limited to cooking food with propane or other chemicals.

To get current information on fire restrictions, forest users are encouraged to check the agency’s Web site at http://www.ss.fed.us/r2/fire

Jane Reuter can be reached at 668-3998, ext. 229, or by e-mail at jreuter@summitdaily.com

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