Eagle County’s fire restrictions lifting on Oct. 30 | VailDaily.com

Eagle County’s fire restrictions lifting on Oct. 30

While fire restrictions are lifting, officials still urge extra caution with campfires.
Special to the Daily

Fire managers, officials, and partners from local, state, and federal agencies have all agreed to officially lift all fire restrictions in Eagle County beginning Friday, Oct. 30, at 12:01 a.m.

 Recent fire restrictions prohibited dispersed camp fires, smoking in certain areas, cutting, welding, and/or grinding near dry vegetation, operating certain types of vehicles without spark arrestors, and the use of steel core or jacketed ammunition. Please keep in mind that the use of exploding targets, tracer rounds, steel-core ammunition, or fireworks remains prohibited on all public lands at all times.

Most of Eagle County remains in “exceptional” drought, the highest classification. Still, fire officials agree that the increased humidity, recent snowfall, and cooler overnight temperatures have helped to reduce the current fire danger. Officials still strongly encourage using precautions as conditions remain dry, and diligence is always necessary to ensure campfires are completely out, cold to the touch, and watched closely when in use.

Fire managers urge continued public cooperation and diligence while in the backcountry. Eagle County Sheriff James van Beek asks that everyone remember “we are still in fire season and vegetation may once again dry out as the snow melts. It is extremely important to take precautions and practice fire safety.”

Officials urge backcountry visitors to use the following fire prevention tips:

• Carry a shovel, water, a bucket, and/or a fire extinguisher when working or camping on public lands. 

• Always watch carefully and drown and stir fires to ensure they are completely out and cold to the touch before leaving camp.

• Keep vehicles in good working order, and stay on designated roads and trails to avoid igniting dry vegetation with hot exhaust.

• Keep all chains and straps secured so they don’t drag on the ground and cause sparks that can ignite roadside grasses.

Expect updates on fire restrictions from surrounding counties, Bureau of Land Management, and White River National Forest agencies. Keep up to date with local fire restrictions information in Eagle County at http://www.ecemergency.org.

In addition to Eagle County, most ranger districts on the White River National Forest will lift fire restrictions Oct. 30.

 The Aspen-Sopris, Blanco, Eagle-Holy Cross, and Rifle ranger districts are lifting restrictions as fire danger has decreased with the recent snow.

 The Dillon Ranger District is coordinating with Summit County and will remain in Stage 2 fire restrictions, which prohibit all fires and charcoal on national forest lands, including wood stoves used in wall tents. Propane and other petroleum-fueled stoves and camping equipment are allowed.

 “While fire danger has moderated with this snow, conditions vary by location. There is still fire danger, and people need to be careful with fire,” Deputy Forest Supervisor Lisa Stoeffler said. “Warm, dry weather is returning, which will gradually increase fire danger.”

 For more information about fire restrictions on federal land, call 970 945-2521 or go to http://www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver.

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