Feds enact area fire restrictions | AspenTimes.com
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Feds enact area fire restrictions

Aspen Times writer

Already, campfires are out of the question for backcountry users in the White River and Grand Mesa national forests.Fire restrictions will go into effect today on county and federal lands encompassing much of northwestern Colorado, including Pitkin County, due to high fire danger, federal agencies announced on Friday.The U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management have enacted fire restrictions on lands in the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit. The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Department enacted a similar burn ban last week.County and federal land management officials will be enforcing the temporary restrictions, which include: no campfires except within designated fire grates in developed campgrounds; no smoking except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or in a barren area free of vegetation; no use of explosive materials; no welding or operation of an acetylene or other similar torch with open flame; and no operation of any internal combustion engine without a spark-arresting device properly installed and in working order.The management unit includes public lands in Summit, Eagle, Mesa, Garfield, Rio Blanco and Pitkin counties.”We are about a month ahead of schedule on fire danger, and we are at historic highs for fuel energy release components, or flammability, of certain fuels,” said Eric Rebitzke, Upper Colorado River fire management officer. Overall, drought conditions persist throughout much of Colorado, and fire management officials are concerned with the potential for unwanted fires.Restrictions will be in place until further notice. Violation of fire restrictions 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 for not more than six months or both.


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