Forest Service to lift fire restrictions Friday in Routt County

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— Stage 1 fire restrictions for the Routt National Forest will be lifted beginning Friday.

“While several factors are considered in fire restriction decisions, increased moisture in fine fuels such as grass and shrubs, plus favorable fire weather forecasts helped influence this decision,” a U.S. Forest Service news release stated.

Fire restrictions began going into effect in late June. Stage 1 restrictions prohibited agricultural burns, burning trash and any campfires that are not in designated campgrounds or recreational sites.

Even with recent monsoon rains, drought conditions persist and caution is urged.

“Larger fuels, which require more precipitation to recover from drought, remain dry and are still prone to burn,” the release stated. “Forest visitors are advised to use caution when building and maintaining campfires. Always make sure that campfires are dead out, meaning that coals and other burned materials are cool before leaving a fire unattended.”

On Tuesday, the Routt County Board of Commissioners is expected to lift Stage 1 restrictions, which affect state lands and private lands in unincorporated parts of the county.

The city of Steamboat Springs also is expected to lift Stage 1 restrictions Tuesday.

The towns of Oak Creek, Hayden and Yampa never implemented fire restrictions.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com

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