Garfield County lowers fire restrictions to Stage 1 starting Friday
Fire restrictions for all unincorporated land in Garfield County are expected to be reduced at 12:01 a.m. Friday, the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday.
“The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, BLM lands in Garfield County, Forest Service lands in Garfield and the seven fire districts in Garfield County are returning to Stage 1 Fire Restrictions effective at 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 2, 2021,” the sheriff’s office stated in a news release. “This applies to all unincorporated Garfield County.”
Despite the reduction, the Rifle fireworks display for its Independence Day celebration is still canceled.
Recent rainfall has reduced the extreme fire danger experienced by the county when it moved to Stage 2 fire restrictions on June 25, the release states. Fire danger is still high, and residents, as well as visitors to Garfield County, are required to adhere to the restrictions implemented under Stage 1.
Under Stage 1, fireworks are not allowed. Professional fireworks shows, however, may be allowed through the permitting process, the release states.
The use of explosive materials, including exploding targets, bullets or tracer rounds, are also prohibited.
Meanwhile, all burn permits are postponed/canceled until further notice.
Stage 1 fire restrictions do allow the use of campfires within designated fire grates in “developed areas.” These areas include permanent in-ground containment structures or store-bought fire pits.
Temporary fire pans or rock campfire rings will not be acceptable, the release states. But no fires of any type, including charcoal, are allowed in “undeveloped areas.”
Smokers must use designated areas, enclosed vehicles or buildings, in a developed area or in an area free of combustibles.
The penalties for causing a blaze amid fire restrictions vary.
“Causing a fire during fire restrictions can be a class 6 felony and can be punishable by fines,” the release states. “Other possible charges include Fourth Degree (M2) and Intentionally Setting a Wildfire (F3). You may be held financially responsible for damage caused.”
On federal lands, the use of fireworks, flares or other incendiary devices, including exploding targets, are always prohibited.
A “Developed Area” is an area, whether within city limits or rural, that is groomed, manicured and or watered, where grasses, brush and trees are regularly attended to by landowner. This includes residential and business areas, improved recreational areas, parks and other common areas, the release states.
“Undeveloped Areas” are lands that are not groomed, manicured or watered; where grasses, brush and trees have been allowed to grow in a natural environment. This includes green belts that are not landscaped or manicured, open space lands, nonmanicured parklands, and other areas where the fire hazard presented by the vegetation is determined by the authority having jurisdiction or designee to be an undue wildland fire hazard, the release states.
Source: Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.
Aspen Parks and Recreation announced that Desiree Whitehead has been named the city’s new recreation manager and Jim Pratt the new golf manager.
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