Fire restrictions cover BLM, national-forest lands

Print this article

SAN JUAN NATIONAL FOREST & BLM FIRE RESTRICTIONS

This map depicts fire restrictions in the west zone of the San Juan National Forest and BLM lands in the area.

As of July 2, the entire San Juan National Forest has been placed under fire restrictions, with lower elevations upgraded to stricter Stage II restrictions and higher elevations now under Stage I fire restrictions.

The national forest is divided into two zones, with Zone I covering lower elevations and Zone II covering higher elevations, as depicted on restriction maps. The boundary line between the two zones bisects the national forest roughly from east to west, following identifiable jurisdictional boundaries, roads and trails at approximately 8,500 feet.

Lower and middle elevations south of the line are now under stricter Stage II fire restrictions, with all open fires banned. Higher elevations north of the boundary are now under Stage I fire restrictions, which allow open fires only within designated campgrounds.

Specifically, lower and middle elevations of the San Juan National Forest, shown as Zone I on restriction maps, are under the following restrictions:

• All open fires and campfires are banned;

• Smoking is only allowed within an enclosed vehicle or building;

• Chainsaws and other internal-combustion engines must have approved, working spark arresters and chainsaw use must be accompanied by a shovel and fire extinguisher;

• Welding, or use of acetylene and other torches with an open flame is prohibited;

• Use of explosives is prohibited. Specifically, higher elevations of the San Juan National Forest, shown as Zone II on restriction maps, are under the following restrictions:

• Campfires are limited to permanent fire rings or grates only within developed campgrounds;

• Smoking is limited to within vehicles, buildings, or 3-foot-wide areas cleared of vegetation;

• Chainsaws and other internal-combustion engines must have approved, working spark arresters (this restriction is always in effect on national-forest lands);

• Welding, or use of acetylene and other torches with an open flame is prohibited;

• Use of explosives is prohibited. Possession and use of fireworks are always prohibited everywhere on federal lands.

For more information, contact the San Juan National Forest at 970 247-4874.

On July 3, the BLM instituted Stage II fire restrictions on public lands in Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, and Montezuma counties.

The following acts are prohibited under these restrictions within the restricted areas:

• Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, wood or charcoal-fueled stove. (Exception: Pressurized liquid-fueled stoves with an on/off switch or valve.

• Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building.

• Blasting, welding, or other activities which generate a flame, or may result in the ignition of flammable material.

• Operating or using any internal combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained, and in effective working order.

• Possessing or using a motor vehicle or OHV off established roads, except when parking in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the roadway; and except for parking overnight in developed campgrounds and trailheads.

The federal agencies monitor conditions and will modify the restrictions as needed.

Exemptions to the Stage II Fire Restrictions include authorized activities of any federal, state or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting effort in the performance of an official duty. Additionally, holders of valid BLM permits, leases and authorizations are allowed to conduct approved activities, but are advised to take extra precautions to prevent fire starts.

To determine fire restrictions throughout Colorado, visit www.coemergency.com/p/ fire-bans-danger.html. For information on wildfires and restrictions in the area, call the Southwest District Fire Management information line, 970-240-1070, or visit http://gacc.nifc.gov/rmcc/dispatch_centers/r2mtc/.

Print this article

From July 2013.