Due to a combination of record high temperatures, low humidity and high winds, the Delta County Board of County Commissioners signed a resolution implementing Stage 2 Fire Restrictions for the unincorporated areas of the county, effective Monday, June 18, until further notice. These restrictions do not apply to the municipalities within the county; municipalities may have their own fire restrictions in place.
Stage 2 fire restrictions include restrictions on all open fires, defined as all outdoor fires, including, but not limited to agricultural burning, campfires, fire pits, welding or use of a torch outdoors, warming fires, explosives, fireworks of all kinds and brands (except with a permit issued pursuant to state or municipal laws) and the prescribed burning of fence rows, wildlands, trash, and debris, use of tracer or incendiary ammunition, and charcoal fires. The restrictions do not include gas barbecues or gas fueled stoves or heating devices.
Also prohibited is the operation of a chain saw without a USDA or SAE approved spark arresting device properly installed and in effective working order, and having a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher of not less than 8 ounces capacity by weight, and possessing one large size pointed shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches. The extinguisher shall be with the chain saw operator. The shovel may be kept with the fueling supplies but readily available for quick use.
Persons found violating the new restrictions may be cited into Delta County Court and, upon conviction, incur fines and costs. In addition, should the violation of this resolution result in a fire, the violator shall be responsible to reimburse the expenses incurred in extinguishing the fire.
By implementing these restrictions, the commissioners hope to avoid as many human-caused fires as possible and request outdoor users to be extremely careful with all burnable materials, especially cigarettes. Delta County's decision to move to Stage 2 Fire Restrictions follows that of Montrose, San Miguel, and Ouray counties, as well as the Gunnison and Uncompahgre National Forests and the BLM Uncompahgre Field Office.
Due to higher fuel moisture measurements and a low/moderate fire danger level the Grand Mesa National Forest will NOT be implementing any fire restrictions at this time.
For a complete listing of restrictions and links to official information, please visit www.westslopefireinfo.com.
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Delta County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting to consider the board's response to the Bureau of Land Management's preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) concerning the lease parcels proposed for the December BLM sale.
Several people from the North Fork were present to provide input.