Stage 2 fire restrictions issued for Glenwood Springs beginning Saturday
Glenwood Springs is broadening its fire restrictions due to the increasing risk of wildfires to include a ban on fireworks use, outdoor smoking and use of charcoal or wood-fired grills or campfires within city limits.
Currently in Stage 1 fire restrictions, city officials said on Thursday that they will go into Stage 2 beginning this Saturday, June 16.
A Stage 2 fire restriction bans fires, campfires and stove fires. In addition, charcoal grills and wood or coal fires for cooking purposes will be prohibited.
Natural gas or propane grills with a shut off valve are permitted, however.
The city will also ban smoking of any kind, except within an enclosed vehicle or building. Equipment which utilizes any combustion engine cannot be used without an approved spark arrestor, and ideally with a shovel and bucket of water close by, Glenwood Springs Fire Chief Gary Tillotson said.
Welding, spark emitting cutting, or operating acetylene or other torch with an open flame is also prohibited during the restrictions.
No form of explosive will be tolerated and all use of fireworks, including those that can be legally sold in Colorado such as toy caps, sparklers, snakes and fountains, will be strictly prohibited under the temporary ban.
“The conditions are just extremely volatile right now,” Tillotson said. “Again, today we are under a red flag warning from 10 until 9 issued by the National Weather Service. Unfortunately, in addition to the criteria that we usually expect for a red flag warning, which is dry fuels, anticipated or predicted winds and low humidity, the forecast for today also includes the possibility of dry lightning.
“So, we are all just kind of on pins and needles,” Tillotson said. “It’s so volatile and so dangerous out there right now.”
According to a city press release explaining the new rules, the Glenwood Springs Police Department will be strictly enforcing these fire restrictions. Police urge the public to report any violations to the Police Department at 970-384-6500 or the Garfield County non-emergency line at 970-625-8095.
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The tragic incident left a nearby camper wondering if more could be done to remove dead-standing trees from popular camping areas.