Countywide fire ban takes effect tomorrow

RBC | Sheriff Anthony Mazzola announced a fire ban effective 8 a.m. Friday due to excessively dry conditions, high heat and wind. “This year compared to last year, we are much drier,” he said. “We tried to hold off as long as we could.” The decision was made during a meeting earlier this week attended by Mazzola, Rangely and Meeker fire chiefs, Upper Colorado River Forest Service and BLM.
The ban includes the fireworks display conducted by the Western Rio Blanco Recreation District on July 4 at Kenney Reservoir. As of press time Wednesday Meeker Fire and Rescue had not made a formal decision regarding Meeker’s fireworks display. According to Mazzola the Meeker Fire Ban Ordinance allows for the town to exempt its Independence Day display but the town would take on all financial liability if a fire were caused by the fireworks.
Meeker Fire Chief Terry Skidmore said he’s waiting for the weather forecast and making sure he has enough people available to monitor the area late after the display. When a decision is made, it will be posted on the Meeker Fire and Rescue social media pages and their website.
Mazzola is hopeful that the lack of fireworks for sale in the area will lead to less violations of the ban. The county 4-H fireworks stands in Rangely and Meeker were canceled due to the ban.