The Mesa County Sheriff's Department, Bureau of Land Management and the National Parks Service is instating a Stage 1 fire restriction effective July 22 at 12:01 a.m. All Mesa County fire services support this decision.

Low moisture content in vegetation, weather predictions and fire-fuel content in the county, lead to the decision.

Mesa County Sheriff, Matt Lewis, stated in a press release:

“We have been very fortunate to go this long into the summer without having to implement any fire restrictions, but the hot and dry weather has caught up with us. “Recent rains continue to dry out fast with more hot and dry weather forecasted to increase the already present fire danger.”

What You Can Do

  • Fires within liquid-fueled or gas-fueled stoves, fireplaces within buildings, charcoal grill fires within developed residential or commercial areas, and fires within wood burning stoves. Professional fireworks displays permitted according to section 12-28-103 of the C.R.S.
  • Fire suppression or fire department training fires.
  • Tiki torches, small recreational fires at developed picnic or campground sites contained in permanent fire pits or fire grates with flame lengths not in excess of four feet and which are supervised by a responsible person at least 21 years of age.

What You Can't Do

  • Open burning of any kind.
  • Personal use of fireworks.
  • Explosive Targets
  • On Public Lands, building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire except within a developed recreation site, or improved site. 36 CFR 261.52(a).
  • On Public Lands 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. 36 CFR 261.52(d).
  • On Public Lands operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark-arresting device properly installed, maintained, and in effective working order meeting either the USDA Forest Service Standard 5100-1a (as amended), or appropriate Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) recommended practice J335(b) and J350(a) (36 CFR 261.52(j)).

Causing a fire in the woods or prairie during a fire restriction is a Class 6 felony and could be punishable by fines up to $100,000 and/or 18 months in prison. You could also be charged with fourth-degree arson and setting a wildfire.

Be cautious while enjoying the outdoors.