By Esther Godson
San Juan National Forest
Fire restrictions (order) will remain in place on all National Forest System lands within the San Juan National Forest, including wilderness. Forest Order SJ-2020-04 went into effect on May 29 and will remain in effect until rescinded.
Fire restrictions are in place to enhance public safety, protect natural and cultural resources and help minimize human-caused wildfires.
Forest visitors are prohibited from:
• Igniting, building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, including charcoal grills and barbecues, coal- and wood-burning stoves and sheepherder’s stoves.
• Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, trailer or building.
“While the winter snowpack was slightly below normal at higher elevations, mid to lower elevations received well below normal snowpack and what snow is remaining is diminishing early,” said Cary Newman, San Juan National Forest fire planner.
Temporary restrictions will remain in place until further notice and may be increased or reduced at any time due to changes in weather and fire danger.
Fire management personnel would like to provide forest users with these helpful reminders before heading out to their public lands:
• Do not idle or park your vehicle in tall grass. The undercarriage is hot and can light the grass on fire. Park your vehicles/trailers and off-highway vehicles away from dry grass and brush.
• When target shooting, follow these precautions: place your target on dirt or gravel, switch to paper targets, and bring a shovel and fire extinguisher. Remember: Incendiary targets/exploding ammunition are illegal on all federal lands.
• Practice proper vehicle maintenance, ensuring that tow chains are secured and vehicles have no dragging parts — dragging chains along the ground can spark fires. Check your tire pressure and properly maintain your brakes.
• Report any fires by calling 911.
The San Juan National Forest thanks forest visitors who are following the current fire restrictions. Our community can prevent unwanted human-caused fires.
For more information on Forest Service fire restriction orders, please contact the San Juan National Forest at 247-4874.