Stage 1 Fire Restrictions on San Juan National Forest effective May 1

Beginning May 1, Stage 1 Fire Restrictions will be in effect on all National Forest System lands within the San Juan National Forest (SJNF), including Wilderness, as well as on most other jurisdictions in the area.

San Juan National Forest has brought in a National Wildfire Prevention Education Team to help raise awareness of the wildfire dangers during this wildfire season.  Southwest Colorado is currently experiencing exceptional drought conditions. The area only received 40 percent of the normal snowpack and is experiencing multiple fires daily since April 1. Current predictions indicate that these conditions will extend or worsen throughout the summer.  Wildland fire agencies across Colorado have been reinforcing prevention efforts for their respective agencies.  “By bringing a National Wildfire Prevention Education Team to Durango, we will be able to unify these efforts across Southwest Colorado,” said Richard Bustamante, SJNF Fire Management Officer.

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions on the San Juan National Forest means that the following are PROHIBITED:

  1. FIRES, CAMPFIRES, OR STOVE FIRES, including, but not limited to, CHARCOAL GRILLS, hibachis, and coal or wood-burning stoves.

Exceptions allowed:

  • Campfires in Forest Service-provided, manufactured fire grates and grills within Forest Service developed campgrounds and picnic grounds.
  • Petroleum fueled stoves or lanterns that use gas, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel.
  • Fully enclosed (sheepherder type) stove with a ¼” spark arrester type screen.
  1. SMOKING, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, or in a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least 3 (three) feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
  2. CHAINSAWS without a USDA Forest Service or SAE approved spark arrester. Operators must be in possession of a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of 2A and a round-pointed shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches.
  3. WELDING or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame, except in cleared areas of at least 10 feet in diameter and in possession of a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of 2A.
  4. EXPLOSIVES, including fireworks, tracer bullets, and exploding targets.

The U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, the National Park Service and the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control are all involved in this proactive fire prevention campaign. Specifics of what is prohibited or allowed under Stage 1 restrictions vary slightly depending on jurisdiction, so persons should confirm information from the appropriate agency.

For more Forest Service fire restriction information, please contact the San Juan National Forest at 970-247-4874, or visithttps://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/sanjuan/firerestrictions

This story was posted on April 27, 2018.