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City of Steamboat Springs NEWS

Posted on: August 25, 2021

City Moves Back to Stage 1 Fire Restrictions

Fire Restrictions NewsFlash2

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO – August 24, 2021 - Pursuant to Ordinance No. 2013-002, an ordinance to restrict fires in unincorporated portions of Routt County during periods of high fire danger, the Routt County Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to rescind Stage 2 Fire Restrictions and enact Stage 1 Fire Restrictions effective at 12:01 a.m., Wednesday, August 25, 2021, and will remain in force until rescinded.

Fire restrictions are considered only when very high or extreme fire danger exists and is predicted to persist.  This determination is based upon current conditions, long-term weather forecasts, and upon the heavy, dry fuel loading which creates the potential for uncontrollable fires.

Wildfires can affect entire communities by destroying homes and natural habitat and by killing wildlife, as well as creating widespread poor air quality, which can cause problems for people outdoors, particularly those with respiratory ailments.  People must take all necessary safety precautions in wildlands and forests.  The restrictions will remain in effect until officials determine that conditions have changed sufficiently to reduce the risk of a human-caused wildfire.  Rescinding the restrictions will be considered when the critical elements diminish.

Federal, state, and local partners throughout the region study and discuss weekly several factors to determine when restrictions are recommended or necessary, such as moisture content of the fuels, current and forecasted weather conditions, and availability of suppression resources throughout the region.  These factors and the associated criteria that are measured provide a more scientific and accurate process for determining when fire restrictions are necessary.

STAGE 1 RESTRICTIONS

The following acts are prohibited on all private and state owned lands outside of municipal boundaries.  This does not affect federal lands within Routt County.

  1. Building, maintaining, attending or using any fire to burn trash, debris, fence rows, irrigation ditches or vegetation; any campfire, warming fire, or charcoal grill, except in designated campgrounds, picnic areas or developed recreational sites.
  1. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreational site, or while stopped in an area of at least (3) feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
  1. Operating a chainsaw without a USDA or SAE approved spark arresting device (muffler) properly installed and in effective working order, and a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher of not less than eight (8) ounce capacity by weight, and one (1) round pointed shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches.  The extinguisher will be with the chainsaw operator.  The shovel may be kept with the fueling supplies but readily available for quick use.
  1. Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame; except within an area that is barren or cleared of all flammable material at least 10 feet on all sides from the equipment.
  1. Using explosives requiring fuses or blasting caps.

Exemptions from Stage 1 Restrictions: 

  1. Persons with a valid written permit which specifically authorizes the prohibited act:  (a) from the fire protection district chief if subject land is within a fire protection district; (b) or Routt County Emergency Operations Director after consultation with the Routt County Sheriff  if subject land is not within a fire protection district.
  1. Any federal, state or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an actual duty.
  1. Any fires contained within stoves, fireplaces within buildings, charcoal grill fires, recreational fires at private residences with valid permit from district chief, and permanent fire pits or fire grates in developed picnic grounds and campgrounds.
  1. Burning of irrigation ditches located within and completely surrounded by irrigated farm lands where such burning is necessary for crop survival with proper permit from:  (a) fire protection district chief if subject land is within a fire protection district; (b) or Routt County Emergency Operations Director after consultation with the Routt County Sheriff if subject land is not within a fire protection district.
  1. Hot air balloon activities and the use of UL approved liquid-fueled or gas fueled “Camp Fire in a Can.” 
  1. Campfires or bonfires required in religious ceremonies where a specific written permit has been granted in advance by: (a) the fire protection district chief if subject land is within a fire protection district; or (b) the Routt County Emergency Operations Director after consultation with the Routt County Sheriff if subject land is not within a fire protection district.

Fine Schedule and Penalty Assessment Procedure. Any person who violates this order commits a class 2 petty offense and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than six hundred dollars ($600) for each separate offense. However, the following fine schedule shall apply: 

  • First Offense - Not more than $100
  • Second Offense - Not more than $200
  • Third or Subsequent Offense - The maximum fine permitted by law – $1,000 as of March 31, 2013 

Should you have any questions, please call your Fire Protection District Chief or the Routt County Office of Emergency Management at (970) 870-5551. Thank you for your cooperation.

North Routt Fire Protection District
Mike Swinsick – (970) 879-6064


West Routt Fire Protection District
Trevor Guire – (970) 276-3511

Oak Creek Fire Protection District
Chuck Wisecup – (970) 736-8104


Yampa Fire Protection District
Machia ‘Ky’ Cox – (970) 846-2169

Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue
Chuck Cerasoli – (970) 879-7170



 

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