Routt County ends fire restrictions

A trio of helicopters battled the Morgan Creek Fire near Seedhouse Road in North Routt County on July 11, 2021.
Dylan Anderson/Steamboat Pilot & Today

The Routt County commissioners voted to rescind Stage 1 fire restrictions Wednesday, ending bans on burning that have been in place in some form since June.

The restrictions went into place June 16, as several agencies worked together to try to limit potential for fires to be caused by humans ahead of what was feared to be one of the worst fire seasons ever. Days later, the Muddy Slide Fire was sparked by a lightning strike in South Routt County.

Restrictions were elevated to the more serious Stage 2 shortly after June 22, but those were eventually rescinded late last month.

“Rescinding the existing fire restrictions does not mean there is no fire danger; it just means the extreme conditions have somewhat moderated,” said a release from the county following the move. “We urge outdoor enthusiasts to remain cautious and continue fire safety practices when working or recreating on public and private lands.”

The U.S. Forest Service is continuing to impose Stage 1 restrictions in all parts of the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest, according to its website. This bans all fires, except in a developed campground. This is set to expire Sept. 30.

The Muddy Slide Fire is not 100% contained. The Morgan Creek Fire started near popular recreation areas along Seedhouse Road in North Routt County on July 9. That fire is currently at 36% contained but has not seen significant growth in weeks.

The county release urges residents to do the following, even without restrictions:

  • Never leave a campfire unattended, the wind can blow sparks and cause a wildfire.
  • Any campfire should be built on bare soil with brush cleared away and use a fire ring when available.
  • Pour water on ashes and stir them, making sure the ashes and any unburned wood are cold to the touch before leaving.

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