Colorado campers urged to be careful | AspenTimes.com

Colorado campers urged to be careful

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – Fire officials are urging campers to be cautious going into the holiday weekend, as the forecasted fire danger in the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit ranges from moderate to very high.

The unit encompasses an area that includes the Roaring Fork Valley and White River National Forest.

Since May 1, fire crews with the unit have responded to 25 reports of unattended campfires, including several that burned well beyond the ring in which they were built.

“My sense is, that number is up from past years,” said Patrick Thrasher, spokesman for the White River National Forest, headquartered in Glenwood Springs. “It is a matter that has caused concern on the part of the fire folks.”

While fire restrictions are not in place, officials are urging caution when building campfires. Such fires should be completely extinguished before campers leave the scene and they should not be left unattended.

Smoking, heat from vehicle exhaust and converters, and fireworks are also major causes of wildfires, according to fire officials.

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The use of fireworks is prohibited on federal lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service and National Park Service.