Summit County fire ban begins |

Summit County fire ban begins

Christine McManus

The first stage of a fire ban in Summit County began Monday.

Open fires now are banned in Summit County except for in formal campground fire rings, in camp stoves, in grills, for hot air balloons or during pre-approved fireworks displays. Before starting a charcoal fire, residents and visitors must notify the local fire department and the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office, all fire districts and the U.S. Forest Service are organizing for a potentially dangerous wildfire season in the High County, including Eagle County. Eagle County authorities, however, have not yet implemented a fire ban.

Even with recent snows – which have melted off quickly – public safety officials are concerned about the threat of wildfire.

“Sooner or later, any fire of any size will become a federal issue, given all the national forest land in Summit County,” Summit County Sheriff John Minor said.

A computer program soon will be available to rate the level of fire hazards in any neighborhood, Minor said. The program will rate the level of defensible space, access, egress routes and water supplies in each neighborhood.

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