Criteria not met for fire restrictions in Routt County
Steamboat Springs — Hot and dry conditions are prompting regional fire officials to carefully evaluate whether to enact fire restrictions.
The fire danger in Routt County is high, but currently there are no restrictions. Neighboring Grand County and counties throughout the Front Range have put restrictions in place that limit where people can have campfires.
Regional fire officials have a weekly conference call to discuss fire conditions.
Routt County Emergency Management Director Bob Struble said that earlier this week, it was determined that only one of the seven criteria for enacting restrictions had been met.
If four of the criteria are met, it is recommended that Stage 1 restrictions are enacted. Stage 1 restrictions mean open burning and campfires are not allowed except in designated fire pits.
Struble said the only criteria that has been met for restrictions is the low moisture in fuels at 8,000 feet.
Another criteria is related to firefighting resources.
Struble said officials from the Beaver Creek fire in Jackson County asked him if Routt County had any additional firefighters or firefighting equipment to send to the fire.
“All available resources are pretty well tied up,” Struble said. “We have the apparatus. We don’t have the firefighters to man the equipment.”
There are three fires in neighboring Moffat County that is further straining firefighting resources.
Some area firefighters are currently deployed at the Beaver Creek fire, which exploded in size Wednesday.
“Yesterday was hot and windy,” Struble said. “The smoke plume it was shooting up was pretty impressive.”
The fire Thursday morning was listed at 27,892 acres and was 12 percent contained.
The fire was expected to remain active through the week.
There are nearly 300 firefighters working at the fire, which officials believe was human caused.
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