By Randi Pierce | Staff Writer
More local public agencies are lifting fire restrictions due to recent rain in the area, with the San Juan National Forest and Archuleta County announcing the lifting of their respective fire restrictions over the last week.
Those looking to visit or recreate in the area are urged to check local fire restrictions before planning and beginning activities.
More information on fire restrictions in Colorado can be found at: http://www.coemergency.com/p/fire-bans-danger.html.
San Juan National Forest
Stage 1 fire restrictions on all National Forest System lands within the San Juan National Forest, including wilderness, were rescinded effective July 1, with the announcement coming on June 30.
“Recent rains over much of the forest have lessened, but not eliminated, the danger from fire, allowing restrictions to be lifted. This means campfires are now allowed outside of established campgrounds and recreation sites. The public is asked to continue to be careful with fire and to obey any localized fire restrictions,” a press release explains.
“We appreciate the public’s cooperation during Stage 1 and Stage 2 restrictions,” said Acting Forest Supervisor Dave Neely, “and would like to remind everyone that the rain has not reached all parts of southwest Colorado equally.”
Fire danger is still high, especially in the southernmost parts of La Plata and Montezuma counties, the press release notes, adding that new lightning fires are being reported daily, even in higher elevations where more rain has fallen.
The press release notes the public is asked to continue to follow local restrictions whenever and wherever such regulations are still in effect.
It is also possible, Neely added, that the San Juan National Forest may return to restrictions if conditions dry out later in the summer and fall.
Visitors are encouraged to practice these principles of outdoor fire safety:
• Clear all flammable material within 3 feet of campfire rings.
• Make a fire only if you have a shovel and sufficient water to put it out.
• Never leave a fire unattended.
• Keep fires small and manageable.
• Extinguish fires completely. If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave. Every campfire should be put dead out before leaving it.
To report a fire on federal lands, please contact the Durango Interagency Fire Dispatch Center at (970) 385-1324.
For information on current fire restrictions, conditions and recreation opportunities on the San Juan National Forest, call (970) 247-4874.
Archuleta County announced Tuesday that, due to the recent rains in the area, the county’s Stage 1 fire restrictions have been rescinded effective immediately.
A press release from the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners and the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office notes that Resolution 2022-43 is rescinded in its entirety for all private lands in unincorporated areas of Archuleta County.
Archuleta County Undersheriff Mike Le Roux noted that open burning within unincorporated Archuleta County still requires a permit unless it is a recreational fire that meets the parameters outlined in the ordinance.
That ordinance is available at www.archuletacounty.org.
Burn permits are available through the Pagosa Fire Protection District.
Town of Pagosa Springs
Stage 1 fire restrictions remain in place for the Town of Pagosa Springs.
On Tuesday, Pagosa Springs Town Manager Andrea Phillips reported that the Pagosa Springs Town Council will likely consider rescinding the town’s fire ban at its July 21 meeting.