Eagle County goes to Stage 2 restrictions after red flag warning
Fire restrictions ban virtually all outdoor burning; propane devices with shutoff valves are allowed
The National Weather Service Tuesday issued a red flag fire weather warning for most of Western Colorado. That declaration automatically moves Eagle County to Stage 2 fire restrictions.
Red flag warnings are issued when a combination of wind, low humidity and dry fuels increases the danger of wildfires.
The Tuesday declaration was effective from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., but the weather statement added that another red flag warning was expected Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The fire warnings come as two major wildfires are burning in Western Colorado. The Pine Gulch fire north of Grand Junction had burned more than 36,000 acres as of Tuesday afternoon.
The Grizzly Creek fire on the north side of Glenwood Canyon had burned more than 1,800 acres as of Tuesday afternoon.
Eagle County by ordinance either goes into fire restrictions or goes to the next level whenever a red flag warning is issued. In the case of Tuesday’s declaration, the county has gone to Stage 2 fire restrictions.
In the case of the Tuesday and Wednesday fire weather declarations, the county drops back into Stage 1 restrictions when the red flag warnings expire.
Stage 2 restrictions include:
- Any open fire, campfire or open flame outdoors is prohibited. That includes charcoal and wood burning stoves. Propane-fueled devices with shutoff valves are permitted.
- Smoking outdoors is prohibited outside of developed recreation sites or areas cleared of combustible materials.
- Welding or using a torch device outdoors is prohibited unless the work site has been issued a permit from a local fire department.
The Stage 2 restrictions are likely to stick for a while. The Eagle County Sheriff’s Tuesday afternoon issued a release stating that Stage 2 restrictions will go into effect Friday at 12:01 a.m.