Routt County fire danger level high | SteamboatToday.com
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Routt County fire danger level high

Camping safety tips

Rangers with the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest ask that campers be especially careful with campfires during dry, windy weather.

Tips include:

■ Use existing fire pits where available

■ Clear vegetation and debris to bare soil in areas where fire will be used

■ Have water and a shovel handy

■ Make sure cigarettes and matches are cold before discarding them

■ Never leave a campfire unattended. One small spark quickly can become a raging wildland fire

■ Stir water and dirt into coals until the fire is completely out

■ Avoid building campfires on windy days

■ Don’t park in tall grass or brush; hot tail pipes can start fires

Camping safety tips

Rangers with the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest ask that campers be especially careful with campfires during dry, windy weather.

Tips include:

■ Use existing fire pits where available



■ Clear vegetation and debris to bare soil in areas where fire will be used

■ Have water and a shovel handy

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.



■ Make sure cigarettes and matches are cold before discarding them

■ Never leave a campfire unattended. One small spark quickly can become a raging wildland fire

■ Stir water and dirt into coals until the fire is completely out

■ Avoid building campfires on windy days

■ Don’t park in tall grass or brush; hot tail pipes can start fires

— Strong winds and dry vegetation have prompted local officials to raise the fire danger level in Routt County to high, mirroring similar moves this week by Front Range officials in the wake of two significant fires there.

The Fourmile Canyone wildfire in the Boulder foothills burned 169 structures and 6,200 acres before it was contained early this week. Residents there finally were allowed to return to their homes — or what was left of them — Wednesday.

Routt County and Northwest Colorado largely have been spared of any significant or destructive wildfires this season, but local officials remain on guard.

On Tuesday night, a controlled burn of construction debris in North Routt County reignited and grew to about 400 square feet. North Routt Fire Protection Chief Bob Reilley said workers at a construction site thought the fire was out before they left for the day, but it later rekindled and started burning brush that had been cleared. He said no structures were threatened by the fire.

“We’re going to up the Forest Service (fire danger) signs to high, now that the grasses have really cured out,” he said, referring to the local risk of fire.

No fire bans or restrictions have been enacted, but increasing the fire danger level is a “cautionary warning to make sure the fires are completely out, they’re cold to the touch,” Reilley said.

Lynn Barclay, spokeswoman for the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit, said fire dangers are increasing in the area, but short days and cool nights are helping to control how long fires burn.

“It looks like the forecast is calling for warm, dry, gusty weather through the weekend,” she said, meaning fires could pick up quickly.

“It doesn’t take a large fire to cause damage,” she said.

Routt County Emergency Management Director Bob Struble said he increased the fire danger warning signs to high in Routt County on Tuesday because of the dry weather.

“Pretty much, we haven’t had any moisture in a while,” he said.

Even so, the county has been relatively fire-free.

There was a 10-foot diameter fire Sept. 6 in Yampa, and before that, the previous fire was a lighting strike on a tree in a remote area Aug. 17, he said.

He said it’s hard to predict if there will be any bans later this season, but there are none planned so far.

It’s the opposite of the Front Range, where six counties this week announced fire restrictions.

They are Boulder, Clear Creek, Douglas, Jefferson, Larimer and Park counties. The cities of Arvada, Boulder, Castle Rock, Colorado Springs, Golden and Lakewood also enacted fire restrictions.


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