SAN JUAN NATIONAL FOREST STAGE 2 FIRE RESTRICTION
Durango, Colorado –
Beginning June 1, 2018, Stage 2 Fire Restrictions will be in effect on all National Forest System lands within the San Juan National Forest, including Wilderness. Fire restrictions are designed to protect people, property and the area's natural resources, and are in response to the exceptional drought rating in Southwest Colorado, increased fire activity throughout the area, and continuing hot dry weather forecasts.
Stage 2 Fire Restrictions on the San Juan National Forest means that the following are
1) Building, maintaining, attending or using an OPEN FLAME, including fire, campfire, stove fire, charcoal grills and barbecues, coal and wood burning stoves, and devices (stoves, grills or lanterns) using liquid fuel such as white gas or kerosene. This prohibition applies to the entire San Juan National Forest, including Wilderness and developed camping and picnic grounds.
Except: Devices (stoves, grills or lanterns) using pressurized gas canisters (isobutene or propane) that include shut-off valves, or within an enclosed vehicle, trailer, or building.
Except: Within an enclosed vehicle, trailer or building.
3) WELDING or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.
4) Operating or using any INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE (e.g. chainsaw, generator, ATV) without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order meeting USDA Forest Service or SAE approval.
5) Operating a CHAINSAW without an approved spark arresting device, a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher (8 oz. capacity by weight or larger and kept with the operator) and a round point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches readily available for use, or outside of the “Hoot Owl” restricted hours of 5am – 1pm.
6) Using an EXPLOSIVE. This includes but is not limited to fuses or blasting caps, fireworks, rockets, exploding targets, and tracers or incendiary ammunition.
7) Discharging a FIREARM, air rifle, or gas gun.
8) Possessing or using a MOTOR VEHICLE OFF ESTABLISHED ROADS, motorized trails or established parking areas, except when parking in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the vehicle.
Federal, state, and local officers and persons with a valid Forest Service permit or contract may be exempt from these prohibitions.
San Juan National Forest thanks the public who are following the Stage 1 Fire Restrictions that were implemented in May. With the public’s help, our community can prevent unwanted human-caused fires. Wildland fire agencies across Colorado have been reinforcing prevention efforts for their respective agencies. This includes a multi-agency National Wildfire Prevention Education Team and many out-of-area firefighting resources brought in by the San Juan National Forest, which were of great help with the 358 Fire over Memorial Day weekend.
Southwest Colorado is currently experiencing exceptional drought conditions, similar to conditions contributing to the 2002 Missionary Ridge Fire. “Lack of precipitation since last fall, over the 2017 winter, and through the spring has left the area in exceptional drought. Wildland fuels are critically dry even at higher elevations. The potential for destructive wildfire is on track to surpass all levels experienced in the last fifteen years,” stated Cary Newman, San Juan National Forest Fire Planner.
Temporary restrictions will remain in place until further notice, and may be increased or reduced at any time due to changes in weather and fire danger. Specifics of what is prohibited or allowed under Stage 2 restrictions vary slightly depending on jurisdiction, so a call to the appropriate managing agency may prevent disappointment or a change in plans.
For more Forest Service fire restriction information, please contact the San Juan National Forest at 970-247-4874, or visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/sanjuan/firerestrictions . You can also follow @SanJuanNF on Twitter.
To report a fire on federal lands, please contact the Durango Interagency Fire Dispatch Center at (970) 385-1324.