Still no campfires allowed in Routt County
September 11, 2018
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The hunters who are camping out in the Routt National Forest will have to find other ways besides campfires to stay warm at night.
On Tuesday, Routt County officials decided not to lift Stage 1 fire restrictions, which means people still cannot have fires unless they are in provided fire grates.
Commissioner Tim Corrigan pulled out his phone and looked at the weather forecast to help illustrate why the county did not lift the restrictions.
"It's clear and dry," Corrigan said. "Just sunny, sunny, sunny."
Fire restriction stages
There are two levels of restrictions, Stage 1 and Stage 2, according to the Colorado Division of Prevention and Control.
Stage 1 restrictions
• Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire except within a developed recreation site or improved site.
• 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 materials.
• Operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark-arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order.
Stage 2 restrictions
• All Stage 1 restrictions apply.
• Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire.
• Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building.
• Possessing, discharging or using any kind of firework or other pyrotechnic device.
• Using an explosive.
• Operating a chainsaw or other equipment powered by an internal combustion engine between 1 p.m. to 1 a.m.
• Welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame
• Possessing or using a motor vehicle off-road, except when parking in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the roadway and except for parking overnight in developed campgrounds and at trailheads.
Stage 3 restrictions close an area to everyone but those with permits, authorities and people who live in the area.
The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning that goes into effect Wednesday and extends at least until Thursday night. A red flag warning means weather conditions are ripe for fire activity.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, southern Routt County is seeing extreme drought, and the northern half of the county is in severe drought.
The region is currently meeting two of the seven criteria that are used to help determine whether to enact fire restrictions.
Last week the county met four of the seven criteria.
"The indices have changed, but that's the sixth consecutive week they have changed," Routt County Emergency Management Director David "Mo" Demorat said.