Southern Ute Reservation initiates Stage II fire restrictions


By Lindsay Box

Southern Ute Indian Reservation

Due to the lack of monsoon moisture, current high temperatures, dry fuel conditions and the occurrence of recent wildland fires, Stage II 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 II Fire Restrictions prohibits acts for the general public, commercial operators and industrial oil and gas operators performing work on the Southern Ute Reservation.

General public

Prohibited acts:

1. Open burning. Burning of trash and/or yard waste is prohibited. 

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

3. Camp fires. Building, maintaining or using a warming fire or campfire outside of officially designated or developed camp sites is prohibited. Charcoal broilers and wood and coal stoves used outside of dwellings are classified as campfires and prohibited. Fires for ceremonial sweats are allowed upon notification of the local fire authority and/or BIA fire office and approval from them.

4. Fireworks. Possession, discharging or use of any type or fireworks is prohibited.

5. Smoking. Smoking is restricted to designated areas, within structures or within vehicles equipped with ashtrays.

6. Operating equipment. Operating or using any internal combustion engine (chainsaws, generators, etc) without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order. 

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 became effective at 6 a.m. July 12 and will remain until conditions improve.