RBC | All of Rio Blanco County—including BLM and private property—is now subject to Stage II fire restrictions following another round of fires this week. The White River National Forest imposed Stage II restrictions at the end of June due to severe conditions on the Eagle side of the forest.
The spate of new fires in the last week, including one human-caused, as well as continued dry conditions prompted BLM officials and the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office to escalate from Stage 1 restrictions. According to the Colorado Department of Public Safety, “the decision to move to Stage II will involve a risk/benefit assessment, as well as consideration of economic and social impacts.”
Because prohibiting some of these activities could be detrimental to industry, operators can authorize permits for persons or industry.
“We want to make this process as quick and easy as possible,” said Rio Blanco County Sheriff Anthony Mazzola.
For individuals or industry in need of a permit on BLM land, contact their assigned natural resource specialist or contact James Roberts at 970-878-3873 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For individuals or industry in need of a permit on land under the jurisdiction of Rio Blanco Fire and Rescue, contact Patti Merriam at 970-878-3443 or email email@example.com.
Individuals seeking a permit on land which is under the jurisdiction of the Rangely Fire Department are asked to email the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
STAGE II FIRE BAN
The following activities are prohibited, in addition to the prohibitions of Stage I:
1. Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire. Only petroleum fueled stoves or devices are allowed, and only if the fire can be “turned off,” rather than put out. Charcoal grills, tiki torches, fire pits, sky lanterns, chimineas, etc., are prohibited, including on private property.
2. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building.
3. Possessing, discharging or using any kind of firework or other pyrotechnic device.
4. Using an explosive.
5. Operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order. This includes motorcycles and ATVs.
7. Welding, or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame