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Stage 2 fire restrictions in effect in town and county

Archuleta County and the Town of Pagosa Springs have now joined neighboring agencies by instituting Stage 2 fire restrictions — commonly called a ban — effective today.

Fire restrictions are now in place for all areas in Archuleta, Mineral, and Hinsdale counties south of the Continental Divide for the private and county lands in Archuleta County and all lands in the Town of Pagosa Springs.

Prohibited are:

• Open burning.

• Campfires.

• Coal- or wood-burning stoves.

• Any type of charcoal grill.

• Burn barrels.

• Agricultural burning.

• Use of explosive materials.

• Use of fireworks of any kind.

• Any open fires.

Allowed are:

• Gas grills for barbecues at residences.

• Camp stoves, grills or lights fueled by bottled gas.

• Government-sponsored fireworks with sheriff’s approval.

All fires shall be attended; you shall have at least 5 gallons of water and firefighting tools immediately available; and all fires shall be fully extinguished after use.

Smoking is limited to inside vehicles and buildings.

Internal combustion engines (chainsaws, generators, lawn mowers) must have spark arresters.

Cutting and welding operations must have:

• Fire hand tools and 40 pounds worth of fire extinguishers or a pressurized water supply immediately available.

• A person identified as a fire watch standing by continuously when an ignition of natural fuels is possible.

• Operations must be performed in an area that is free from vegetation for 20 feet.

Oil and Gas operations:

• Flaring for production wells is allowed, but a contact must be made to 911 dispatch.

• Compliance with the Rules for Fire Prevention and Protection must be met (Rule 606A).

Chainsaw and forestry operations must have:

• A pressurized fire extinguisher of 8 ounces or more with the operator.

• A size 0 or larger round point shovel immediately available.

Although fire restrictions are similar, contact the agency with responsibility to get their specific restrictions.

For more information on current fires and bans, see this week’s issue of The SUN.

This story was posted on July 10, 2013.