For Immediate Release | July 6, 2017
Contact: Jessie Porter, Public Information Officer, Eagle County Sheriff's Office
970-328-8540 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Stage 1 Fire Restrictions Implemented In Eagle County
Due to the combination of unusually high temperatures and dry windy conditions there is an increased risk for wildfires throughout Colorado. As a result, Eagle County has implemented “Stage 1” fire restrictions that will take effect immediately prohibiting all open burning for private lands in unincorporated Eagle County.
Bureau of Land Management and The United States Forest Service are likely to implement the same restrictions within the next 24 hours.
Fire managers base decisions about fire restrictions on specific moisture measurements in vegetation and other risk factors such as predicted weather and amount of current fire activity.
The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office will be enforcing temporary restrictions:
- Campfires are only allowed within designated fire grates in developed campgrounds (i.e., a metal, in-ground containment structure -- fire pans and rock campfire rings are not acceptable).
- No fires of any type, including charcoal, outside of developed areas.
- 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, including explosive targets.
- No welding or operation of an acetylene or other similar torch with open flame, or any other spark producing device, except from an area that has been cleared of vegetation.
- No operation of any internal combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed and in working order.
Fireworks are always prohibited on BLM, National Forest and National Park Service lands.
Fire restrictions on these lands will be in place until further notice. Violation of federal fire restrictions is punishable by a fine of not more than $100,000 or imprisonment for not more than 12 months or both. Those found responsible for starting wildfires will also face restitution costs of suppressing the fire.
For more information about fire restrictions in these areas, log on to: https://gacc.nifc.gov/rmcc/dispatch_centers/r2gjc/fireinfo_restrictions/index.html. You can also visit http://www.coemergency.com/p/fire-bans-danger.html for fire information across the state.
Due to the increased risk for wildland fires, The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office would like to encourage residents to take personal responsibility and prepare before a wildland fire occurs.
Homes in or near forested areas are classified as Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) areas, and are at risk in any wildfire event. When you build or buy a home in one of the WUI areas, you have accepted the fact that these areas may have poor access, dense vegetation, steep slopes, and poor or no water supply for fire suppression. To prevent a tragedy, you need to be aware of wildfire hazards and what to do when a wildfire occurs in your area.
Check with your local fire department to determine the wildfire hazard in your area, and what can be done to reduce the hazard. Obtain guidelines for creating a “defensible space” around your home that will increase the chances that your home may survive a wildfire. Create defensible space of at least 30 ft. by doing the following:
- Trimming branches
- Thinning tree and brush cover
- Removing dead limbs and other litter
- Maintaining an irrigated greenbelt
- Mowing dry grasses and weeds
- Cleaning your roof and gutters
- Pruning branches to 10 ft. above the ground
In addition, stay aware of the latest emergency notifications by signing up for EC Alert at www.ecalert.org.
If you are warned to evacuate your home remember to:
1. Follow the instructions and advice of emergency responders. If you are told to evacuate, do so promptly.
2. If you are instructed to go to a certain location, go there - don’t go anywhere else. If certain travel routes are specified or recommended, use those routes rather than trying to find short cuts of your own.
3. If you are advised to shut off your water, gas, or electric service’s before leaving home, do so. Also, find out where emergency shelters are located, in case you need to use them.