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Fire restrictions to be lifted Friday

Archuleta County is expected to lift stage one fire restrictions Friday morning.

The Town of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County will lift the restrictions effective Friday at 8 a.m., with the U.S. Forest Service and Southern Ute Indian Tribe expected to follow suit.

Fire managers within the San Juan Public Lands will meet Friday to assess weather patterns, precipitation, humidity, fuels moisture and related factors and determine if they, too, will lift the restrictions.

Stage one fire restrictions went into effect on June 30 for all areas south of U.S. 160 and west of U.S. 84.

Archuleta County, the Town of Pagosa Springs, U.S. Forest Service (San Juan Public Lands Center) and Southern Ute Indian Tribe all entered stage one restrictions for the affected area.

Archuleta County Sheriff Pete Gonzalez made the initial decision to rescind the restrictions in the county and the BoCC will ratify that decision at their Aug. 16 meeting.

Despite the lifting of the restrictions, Archuleta County Director of Emergency Management Drew Petersen said vigilance is still urged when working with fire and that any activities that are normally regulated (obtaining permits and reporting pile burns, for example), remain in effect.

Petersen said monsoonal rain patterns, which are predicted to continue, have decreased the fire threat, increased fuel moisture, and allowed grasses to green.

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