As spring weather draws outdoor enthusiasts to low elevation areas that are starting to become snow-free, the U.S. Forest Service is reminding Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest visitors about a few items for their safety and the protection of resources.
Protect yourself from falling trees:
■ Be aware of your surroundings and avoid dense patches of dead trees that can fall without warning.
■ Stay out of the forest when there are strong winds that could blow down trees. If you already are in the forest when winds pick up, head to a clearing out of reach of any potential falling trees.
■ Place tents and park vehicles in areas where they will not be hit if a tree falls.
■ When driving in remote areas of the forest, park close to a main road rather than on a spur or one-way section. If trees fall across the road, you may be trapped.
■ Bring an ax or chainsaw to remove fallen trees from roads in case you become trapped.
■ Do not rely on cellphones for safety as there is no coverage in many areas.
Motor vehicle users should be aware of the following:
■ Motor vehicles of all types must remain on designated roads and trails. Refer to Forest Service Motor Vehicle Use Maps for roads and trails that are designated open to motor vehicle travel. Violations start at $75 and can increase significantly if resource damage occurs as a result of an infraction.
■ Some roads still may be impassable because of snow drifts, waterlogged roadbeds, down trees or other debris. Motor vehicle users should resist the temptation to travel off roads and trails or through wet areas. This causes rutting and other damage to these routes and ultimately harms natural resources, including water quality as well as fish and wildlife habitat.
■ Some roads are closed in the spring to minimize disturbance to known elk calving areas.
■ If visitors encounter water flowing across a road or a washed out section, they should note the location, turn around and report it to the local Forest Service office as soon as possible.
For more information, contact your local Forest Service office or visit www.fs.usda.gov/mbr.
Registration open for 1st Steamboat Mad Mudder
Steamboat’s first Mad Mudder 5-kilometer run and obstacle course is set for July 7. Presented by NRC Broadcasting and Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., the race will take place at Steamboat Ski Area and will include a hill climb, sprint race, mud pit and features such as a climbing wall, balance beam and tire course. Participants register as individuals but can sign up to run alongside a partner or team. Registration is $55 through May 15 and $65 from May 16 to June 15. For more information or to register, call 970-879-5368, ext. 100, or visit www.steamboatmadmudder.com.
Registration now open for Steamboat All Arts Festival
Registration is open for local artists to participate in this year’s Steamboat All Arts Festival. The festival is a four-day event that highlights arts and culture in the Yampa Valley and features local and nationally renowned artists. The festival is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 16 to 19. For more information, contact Maren McCutchan at 970-457-4529 or email@example.com.
Residents asked to observe proper burning procedure
The Routt County Wildland Fire Multi-Agency Coordinating Advisory and Policy Group in a news release asks residents to respect property rights and air quality as well as use proper burning procedures.
Now that spring is here, agricultural burning is becoming more prevalent, especially at lower elevations. Agricultural burning plays a vital role in the agricultural and ranching community by removing agricultural refuse and replacing nutrients in the soil.
Before striking a match, notify Routt County Communications at 970-879-1110. Be prepared to provide the following information: location, size of area to be burned, start/finish time, material to be burned and property ownership. There is no fee for this notification.
For all other opening burning or recreational fires, contact area fire departments:
■ North Routt Fire Protection District: 970-879-6064
■ Oak Creek Fire Protection District: 970-736-8104
■ West Routt Fire Protection District: 970-276-3796
■ Yampa Fire Protection District: 970-638-4227
■ Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue: 970-871-8216 or 970-879-7170
Before burning, be aware of forecast weather conditions and keep in mind that conditions may change with wind velocities typically increasing in the afternoon. Spring and early summer can be windy in Routt County and can cause fires to burn out of control. Please inform authorities and neighbors about a burn, and burn responsibly by staying with your fire until it is extinguished.