Observe Memorial holiday fire safety

Conditions this year may be as dry as they’ve ever been for the Memorial Day weekend kick-off of the summer outdoor recreation season. This unseasonable dryness combined with an abundance of tall, dead vegetation from last year create conditions that will readily burn and carry fire if an ignition source, such as an ember from a campfire, is provided.  The county, state and federal land management agencies want you to enjoy your outdoor adventures, but remind you to be especially careful with all outdoor fire use.
Here are a few reminders that can help keep you fire safe:
• Know if fire restrictions are in place before traveling to another area and observe those restrictions.
• Make sure your campfire is “dead out” before leaving campsite. Stir water and dirt into the coals until the coals are cool enough to touch with the back of your hand.
• Build campfires away from overhanging branches and pile wood away from the fire.
• Clear the area around a campfire of all flammable debris and keep fires small.
• Never leave a campfire unattended, even a small breeze can carry embers and ignite a wildfire.
• Extinguish smoking materials completely in cleared areas free of vegetation and debris.
• Fireworks are not permitted on federal lands.
Jackson and Routt counties have implemented fire restrictions which are currently in effect. There are no fire restrictions in effect for Rio Blanco, Moffat or Grand counties. Check with your local Sheriff’s Department, federal land management agency or local emergency management for current fire restriction details or visit: http://www.coemergency.com/ for a statewide listing of fire restrictions.
Fire and vegetation conditions are monitored closely by fire management officials which vary by area, as do fire restrictions. Even if no fire restrictions are in place the need to be extremely careful is necessary because it is dry everywhere.