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Fire bans lifted in Pagosa Country

Staff Writer

Thanks to monsoonal moisture, all fire restrictions have been lifted on lands in Archuleta County.

Effective Monday, restrictions were lifted by Archuleta County, the Town of Pagosa Springs, and the Bureau of Land Management. The BLM restrictions were also rescinded in Dolores, La Plata and Montezuma counties.

The San Juan National Forest followed suit by rescinding restrictions effective Tuesday.

Effective Wednesday, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe rescinded its restrictions, meaning no fire restrictions are currently in place for Archuleta County.

But, while precipitation has helped fuel moisture levels to rise, Pagosa Country is not out of the woods in terms of fire danger, and officials continue to urge vigilance when using fire for recreation or work.

“The BLM, in an effort to coordinate with all local governments and agencies, continued Stage 1 restrictions to ensure consistency among county restrictions and restrictions within public lands,” said Connie Clementson, BLM Tres Rios field manager. “We appreciate the public’s willingness to adhere to the restrictions, and we remind everyone that the fire season in Colorado continues through September.”

Additionally, the BLM stated in a Monday press release that human caused fires account for nearly 90 percent of the wildfires in the U.S.

Prevent wildfire by following these tips:

• Before starting a fire, make sure a shovel, bucket and container of water are available to contain the fire if needed.

• Clear flammable debris away from the site.

• Never start a fire on a windy day.

• Take the time to make sure your fire is dead out.

Tribal authorities, too, remind the public that the fire season lasts until September, reporting that there have been 44 fires on the Southern Ute Reservation this summer.

Currently, Southern Ute fire personnel are available for dispatch to local, regional and national fire incidents.

For more information, go to www.blm.gov/co/st/en/district_offices/southwest.html#Restrictions or contact the San Juan Public Lands Center at 247-4874.

Additional information about fire restriction and fire danger across the state can be found at www.coemergency.com/p/fire-bans-danger.html.

randi@pagosasun.com

This story was posted on August 1, 2013.