Forest Service firefighters extinguish escaped campfire in North Routt
September 24, 2018
CLARK — U.S. Forest Service firefighters fought an escaped campfire south of Hinman Park Campground in Routt National Forest on Sunday.
The illegal fire was in a dispersed campsite off of Forest Service Road 471, about two miles south of the campground.
The fire escaped a hand-built rock fire ring, said Routt National Forest spokesperson Aaron Voos.
The fire spread about 5 feet away from the pit, and crews were able to control the fire within the campsite.
"Things still are very dry," Voos said. "We're still under Stage 1 fire restrictions, meaning no campfires outside of the fire rings that are Forest Service-approved within our Forest Service recreation sites."
Stage 1 fire restrictions remain in place across Routt County, and the restrictions prohibit campfires except in developed campsites within designated campgrounds.
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Voos said the minimum legal repercussions often require the parties responsible for an escaped campfire to pay the costs of suppressing the fire. Citations would likely be issued for having an illegal campfire with Stage 1 restrictions in place.
Stage 1 restrictions also call for cigarette smokers to smoke inside a vehicle or building, at a developed campsite or while stopped in an area that is at least three feet wide and cleared of all flammable materials.
Chainsaws should have an approved muffler and should be used with a fire extinguisher and a shovel nearby. Use of explosives with a fuse is also prohibited, and there are restrictions on welding torches as well.