• Tom Genes

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions Start Saturday

Pitkin and Eagle Counties have issued Stage 1 Fire Restrictions beginning Beginning Saturday, April 11, 2020, at (midnight) 12:01 a.m.,..

County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo, with the support of all Pitkin County Fire Chiefs, is placing Pitkin County under Stage 1 fire restrictions effective 12:01 AM Saturday, April 11, 2020. The new fire restrictions are in effect until further notice and cover all State, public, private, incorporated and unincorporated lands within Pitkin County. Land management officials from the US Forest Service - White River National Forest are implementing their own restrictions along with Pitkin County. “Although we typically use data to guide us in making these decisions, these current restrictions are being enacted in response to the possibility of diminished law, fire, and EMS resources due to the COVID-19 state of emergency. The impacts of inaction on our part are far greater than the impact to our community and we must do everything we can to not only deter and prevent fires but also to preserve our local public safety resources in Pitkin County." Joe DiSalvo, Pitkin County Sheriff. “Implementing these Stage 1 fire restrictions now allows us to focus on the safety of the public while we ensure the integrity of our county-wide public safety system.” Scott Thompson, Roaring Fork Fire Rescue Authority Fire Chief. All residents and visitors who violate these fire restrictions will face penalties which include fines and possible jail time. Additionally, the public is reminded of the criminal consequences for violations of the current Public Health Order. Strict adherence to the Pitkin County Public Health Order restrictions must continue, including: - Stay home unless absolutely necessary for essential travel and services only - Maintain a 6-foot distance with other individuals - No gatherings larger than five (5) people The fire restrictions shall apply to the following persons and activities: A. Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire except within a developed recreation site, or improved site to include a fire ring/pit. B. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, or building, at a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area of at least 3 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.

C. Operating or using an internal or external combustion engine without an approved spark-arresting device properly installed, maintained, and in effective working order meeting either the USDA Forest Service Standards or appropriate Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) recommended practices. D. Use of any personal fireworks or explosive requiring fuses or blasting caps, including exploding targets, as defined by Colorado Revised Statute 12-28-101 (8). The restrictions stated above exclude the following: 1. Persons with a valid written permit from the Pitkin County Sheriff, or the fire district within which the fire is to occur specifically authorizing the prohibited act. 2. Any Federal, State, or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty. 3. Any fires contained within a liquid fuel or gas fuel stove, fireplaces within buildings, charcoal grill fires at private residences, and fires located within permanent fire pits or fire grates to the extent those pits or grates are located in developed picnic grounds, campgrounds or recreational sites. 4. Campfires or bonfires required in religious ceremonies, for which a Federal agency, the Fire District and the County Sheriff has granted a valid written permit in advance. Knowingly or recklessly burning during the restriction period is illegal and legal actions may be taken against individuals in violation under CRS 30-15-410 and Pitkin County Resolution 96. If you have any questions please contact your local fire district, district Ranger office: Aspen Fire Protection District -- 970-925-5532 Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District -- 970-963-2491 Roaring Fork Fire Rescue Authority - 970-340-7040 Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office -- 970-920-5300 White River National Forest -- 970-963-2255

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