5 tips for NOT starting a wildfire | SteamboatToday.com

5 tips for NOT starting a wildfire

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — As new wildfires ignite nearly daily across the West, Routt County has remained relatively unscathed, with only a few small fires that were quickly extinguished.

Fire danger in the area is rated as very high or extreme, according to the U.S. Forest Service, and the forecast calls for a hot and dry week ahead.

Research by the National Academy of Sciences shows that humans cause more than 85 percent of all wildfires. The following are some tips for preventing one.

Be aware of fire restrictions

Stage 1 fire restrictions are in effect across unincorporated Routt County, Routt National Forest, Bureau of Land Management land and the city of Steamboat Springs.

That means campfires and charcoal grills are prohibited, except in designated campgrounds, picnic areas or developed recreation sites with permanent fire pits or fire grates. (Charcoal grills are exempt from the restrictions within the city of Steamboat.)

Stage 1 restrictions also put limitations on smoking, chainsaws, fireworks and explosives.

No fireworks with a fuse

All fireworks that leave the ground are prohibited in Colorado, and Stage 1 fire restrictions also prohibit any fireworks with a fuse. That makes almost all fireworks illegal with the exception of sparklers and some snake-like fireworks.

Federal, state and local officials are exempt from the fireworks restrictions, allowing Yampa and Steamboat Lake to move forward with planned fireworks displays this week.

Park in designated areas

Something as simple as a hot exhaust pipe on dry grass can start a wildfire. It’s a busy week in Steamboat, so be sure to park only in designated areas.

Be cautious with cigarette butts

Don’t throw your cigarette butt out the car window.

Stage 1 restrictions prohibit “smoking, except within 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 material.”

Ask questions

Not sure what’s allowed in your area? Call the local fire protection district to ask.

Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue: 970-879-7170

West Routt Fire Protection District: 970-276-3511

North Routt Fire Protection District: 970-879-4311

Oak Creek Fire Protection District: 970-736-8104

To reach Nicole Miller, call 970-871-4206, email nmiller@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @millerna.

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