From the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office:
A Red Flag Warning from the National Weather Service has been issued for Chaffee County and must of this region for Wednesday June 19, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Accordingly, Sheriff Pete Palmer has declared Wednesday a “no burn day” throughout Chaffee County. NO open fire are allowed within the county, including all campfires, camp stoves, and outdoor smoking. The use of fireworks is also prohibited under this ban. A “no burn day” is a total ban on all open fires and normally remains in place for only a day or two. It is evaluated daily.
In addition, the National Weather Service forecasts an extended period of very dry, windy and hot conditions over the entire region from Wednesday into Saturday, with a Fire Weather Watch in effect Thursday for this region. In light of this, Sheriff Palmer is declaring Stage 1 Fire Restrictions to become effective Wednesday evening at 8 p.m. These restrictions will remain in effect until further notice. They apply to all unincorporated areas within Chaffee County. Salida, Buena Vista and Poncha Springs are excluded from the restrictions, but residents of those municipalities should check with their local authorities for guidance. The U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management previously declared Stage 1 restrictions on those lands within the region.
During State 1 restrictions, no open fires are allowed, with the following exceptions:
1) Campfires, warming fires and charcoal fires within a permanent constructed fire grate in a developed public campground or picnic ground or permanent constructed fire grate or fire ring in a commercial campground or on private property.
2) LP gas or liquid fueled stoves and appliances which allow the operator to turn the flame on and off.
3) Fireplaces within enclosed buildings which are equipped with adequate spark arresting screens on the flue.
4) Charcoal grill fires at private residences.
The official fire danger rating for Chaffee County remains at MODERATE for unincorporated areas and the U.S. Forest Service and BLM lands. It is anticipated that, absent an unanticipated break in weather conditions, that rating will be increased to HIGH very soon.
Please report all sightings of smoke to 911. Check the Sheriff’s Office website at www.chaffeesheriff.org for daily updates on fire restrictions.