FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Stage 2 Fire Restrictions Start Monday
Sheriff Says This is Most Severe Drought in His 38 years as Sheriff
Contact: Susan Lilly, Public Information Officer 970-729-2028
June 1, 2018 -- (San Miguel County, CO) – Sheriff Bill Masters is ordering “Stage 2” fire restrictions to begin Monday, June 4th at 6am. The county is currently under less restricted “Stage 1” restrictions.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are also implementing Stage 2 restrictions to take effect Monday within the BLM Tres Rios Field Office and Canyons of the Ancients National Monument including BLM managed lands in Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, Montrose counties, to include a portion of San Miguel County.
The following acts are prohibited under Stage 2 Fire Restrictions on Tres Rios BLM lands and private land but do not (yet) affect US Forest Service Land or Uncompahgre BLM (these federal lands are in a Stage 1 Restriction):
- OPEN FIRE: Building, maintaining, attending or using an OPEN FLAME, including fire, campfire, stove fire, charcoal grills and barbecues, coal and wood burning stoves, and devices (stoves, grills or lanterns) using a liquid fuel such as white gas or kerosene. This prohibition applies to all public lands within the Tres Rios Field Office and Canyon of the Ancients National Monument, including Wilderness Study Areas and developed camping and picnic grounds in Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, Montrose, and San Miguel Counties.
- Exception: Operating a stove, lantern, or other device using pressurized gas canisters (isobutene or propane) equipped with a valve that allows the operator to immediately turn the flame on and off.
- SMOKING: Exception: Within an enclosed vehicle, trailer or building.
- WELDING or operating acetylene or other torches with an open flame.
- EXPLOSIVE USE. This includes but is not limited to fuses or blasting caps, fireworks, rockets, exploding targets, and tracers or incendiary ammunition.
- CHAINSAW OPERATION without an approved spark arresting device, a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher (8 oz. capacity by weight or larger and kept with the operator) and a round point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches readily available for use, or outside of the restricted hours of 5am – 1pm.
- TARGET SHOOTING ON BLM LAND – To include Discharging a FIREARM, air rifle, or gas gun.
- MOTOR VEHICLE OFF ESTABLISHED ROADS, motorized trails or established parking areas, except when parking in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the vehicle (except for parking overnight in developed campgrounds and trailheads).
- FIREWORKS: The use of fireworks, flares, or other incendiary devices, including exploding targets, are always prohibited on federal lands.
Exemptions to the Stage 2 Fire Restrictions include authorized activities of any Federal, State or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting effort in the performance of an official duty. Additionally, holders of permit exemptions and authorizations are allowed to conduct approved activities but are advised to take extra precautions to prevent fire starts.
Sheriff Masters said this is a necessary step to help prevent a wildfire. “In my 38 years as Sheriff, this is the most severe droughts I’ve seen in our county. People need to be vigilant and take fire risk seriously.”
The restrictions will be in effect for 14 days and could be extended by the Board of County Commissioners.
The San Miguel Sheriff’s Office, located in Telluride, Colorado and established in 1883, serves 7,800 residents and countless visitors across the 1,288 square miles of San Miguel County. Sheriff Bill Masters has been serving as the county’s elected Sheriff since 1980