MONTE VISTA. – Current and forecasted weather, coupled with exceptionally dry conditions have prompted the BLM’s San Luis Valley Field Office to implement fire restrictions on BLM-managed lands in five counties in southern Colorado. Stage 1 fire restrictions will go into effect Tuesday May 12, 2020 on all BLM lands in Alamosa, Rio Grande, Conejos, Costilla, and Saguache counties.
“As fire danger continues to climb in the valley, these fire restrictions will reduce the chance of preventable fires on BLM-managed lands in these counties,” said San Luis Valley Field Office Manager Melissa Garcia.
Stage 1 Fire Restrictions prohibit the following acts:
Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire except within agency-provided fire grates at developed recreation sites. Devices using gas, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel are permitted.
Smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
Operating a chainsaw without a USDA or SAE approved spark arrester properly installed and working, a chemical fire extinguisher of not less than 8 ounces capacity by weight, and one round point shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches.
Using a welder, either arc or gas, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame, except in cleared areas of at least 10 feet in diameter with a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher of not less than 8 ounces capacity.
Using exploding targets.
These fire restrictions are in addition to the year-round wildfire prevention restrictions on BLM-administered public lands in Colorado. These prohibit:
Leaving a fire unattended or unextinguished.
Possession, discharge or use of any fireworks.
Discharge of a firearm using incendiary or tracer ammunition.
Burn, ignite or cause to burn any tire, wire, magnesium, or any other hazardous or explosive material.
Operate any off-road vehicle on public lands unless the vehicle is equipped with a properly installed spark arrester pursuant to 43 CFR 8343.1(c).
For more information about fire restrictions in the San Luis Valley Field Office, please visit the Rocky Mountain District Fire Restrictions page or call the Field Office at (719) 852-7074.
Fire restrictions will be in place until further notice. In addition to criminal penalties, those found responsible for starting wildfires may also face restitution costs of suppressing the fire.