Portions of Routt National Forest under fire restrictions beginning Saturday | SteamboatToday.com

Portions of Routt National Forest under fire restrictions beginning Saturday

Stage 1 fire restrictions will go into effect Saturday, July 8 on all National Forest System lands within the Routt National Forest located in Garfield and Rio Blanco counties due to a continued forecast of dry, warm weather conditions.

Stage 1 fire restrictions will go into effect Saturday, July 8 on all National Forest System lands within the Routt National Forest located in Garfield and Rio Blanco counties due to a continued forecast of dry, warm weather conditions.

The following prohibitions are in effect until further notice.

• Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or stove fire, including portable braziers.

Exceptions include: building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or stove fire in a Forest Service provided metal fire ring or grill in a designated site within a developed Forest Service campground, recreation area or picnic ground, or on National Forest System lands provided the fire, campfire or stove fire is fitted with a spark arrestor or screen, and that the spark arrestor or screen is used at all times; using petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns, or heating devices which meet the fire underwriter's specifications for safety; and resident owners and lessees of land, and holders of Forest Service Special Use authorizations for recreation residences, lodges and resorts, within the restricted area, provided such fires are within a permanently constructed residence or building.

• 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 material.

• Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.

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• Operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a USDA or SAE approved spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order.

Violation of these regulations is punishable as a class B misdemeanor, by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment of not more than Six months, or both.

Anyone negligently or willfully starting a wildland fire could also be held responsible for the costs of that fire.

Forest Staff will continue to monitor conditions to assess the need for any further options, including additional restrictions if weather remains warm and dry and lessening restrictions if a wetter weather pattern develops.

Visit http://fs.usda.gov/mbr for more information.