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Southern Ute Reservation initiates Stage I Fire Restrictions

By Rich Gustafson
Special to The SUN

Due to the current high temperatures, dry fuel conditions and the occurrence of recent wildland fires, Stage I fire restrictions have been implemented for all trust lands throughout the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. Everyone on reservation land is asked to be very cautious and use common sense with fire this time of year.

Stage I Fire Restrictions prohibits acts for the general public, commercial operators and industrial oil and gas operators performing work on the Southern Ute Reservation.

The following acts are prohibited for the general public on reservation lands:

• Open burning — burning of trash and/or yard waste is prohibited.

• Agricultural burning — burning of crop land, fields, rangeland, debris burning, slash piles, prescribed burning and weed burning are prohibited.

• Campfires — building, maintaining or using a warming fire or campfire outside of officially designated or developed campsites is prohibited.  The fire restrictions do not include charcoal fires (in suitable containers) for barbecues or fires for sweat ceremonies, however, such fires are not to be left unattended and are to be fully extinguished after use.

• Fireworks — possession, discharging or use of any type of fireworks is prohibited.

Commercial and industrial restrictions can be obtained from the BIA Fire Office by calling (970) 563-4571.

Anyone violating the provisions of this fire ban may be subject to prosecution outlined in the Southern Ute Indian Criminal Code.

The restrictions will remain until conditions improve.

This story was posted on June 23, 2014.