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Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland to enter Stage 1 fire restrictions, July 3

(WCAX)
Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 7:22 PM CDT
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Stage 1 fire restrictions will go into effect Friday, July 3, 2020 for the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland. This includes National Forest System lands located in Garfield, Grand, Jackson, Moffat, Rio Blanco, and Routt counties in northwest Colorado; Albany, Campbell, Carbon, Converse, Crook, Natrona, Niobrara, Platte, and Weston counties in Wyoming.

The USDA Forest Service has coordinated with all affected counties and state agencies on the timing of the restrictions.

Restrictions are necessary due to the danger of human-caused wildfires from increased recreation usage across the Forests and Grassland. Recent dry, windy and warm weather conditions have resulted in an elevated potential for wildfires. Fire restrictions will help protect public health and safety, as well as natural resources during persistent fire weather conditions.

The following prohibitions are in effect until further notice:

1. Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or stove fire. This includes barbecues, grills, and portable braziers.

Except:

o Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire in constructed, permanent fire pits or fire grates within developed recreation sites and the use of portable stoves, lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum, pressurized liquid fuel or a fully enclosed (sheepherder type) stove with a ¼” spark arrester type screen is permitted.

2. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.

3. Operating a chainsaw without a USDA or SAE approved spark arrester properly installed and in effective working order, a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of 2A kept with the operator, and one round point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches readily available for use.

4. Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame except in cleared areas of at least 10 feet in diameter and in possession of a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of at least 2A.

5. Using an explosive.

Violation of these regulations is punishable as a class B misdemeanor, by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment of not more than six months, or both. Anyone negligently or willfully starting a wildland fire could also be held responsible for the costs of that fire.

In addition to the restrictions listed above and heading into the Fourth of July holiday, Forest users are reminded that under no circumstances are fireworks allowed on federally-managed lands.

Forest staff will continue to monitor conditions to assess the need for further action, including additional restrictions if weather remains warm and dry and lessening restrictions if a wetter weather pattern develops.

Call your local office for site-specific information.

Brush Creek-Hayden Ranger District, Saratoga, Wyo., (307) 326-5258

Douglas Ranger District, Douglas, Wyo., (307) 358-4690

Hahns Peak-Bears Ears Ranger District, Steamboat Springs, Colo., (970) 870-2299

Forest Supervisor’s Office & Laramie Ranger District, Laramie, Wyo., (307) 745-2300

Parks Ranger District, Walden, Colo., (970) 723-2700

Yampa Ranger District, Yampa, Colo., (970) 638-4516

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