As of July 2, the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests agency of the U.S. Forest Service has implemented Stage 1 fire restrictions on the Uncompahgre Plateau and the Fruita division of the forest.
These restrictions prohibit fires, campfires and stove fires, including but not limited to charcoal grills, hibachis and coal or wood-burning stoves.
Exceptions are allowed in the case of campfires in Forest Service-provided, manufactured fire grates and grills within Forest Service developed campgrounds and picnic grounds; petroleum-fueled stoves or lanterns that use gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel; or fully enclosed sheepherder type stoves with a quarter inch spark arrester-type screen.
If people must smoke in these areas, it must be done in an enclosed vehicle or building, in a developed recreation site or while stopping in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
Chainsaws without a Forest Service or SAE-approved spark arrester are prohibited. Operators must be in possession of a chemical-pressurized fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of 2A and a round-pointed shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches.
Welding or operating acetylene or other torches with open flame is prohibited except in cleared areas of at least 10 feet in diameter. Operators must be in possession of a chemical-pressurized fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of 2A.
Explosives including fireworks, tracer bullets and exploding targets are prohibited.
Anyone wishing to learn about fire restrictions, wildfires and prescribed burns on National Forest lands can call the GMUG Fire Information line at 970-874-6602 or visit bit.ly/GMUGFireRestrictions.
More fire-related information is available for Colorado’s western slope at westslopefireinfo.com.
Anyone seeking general up-to-date information on GMUG lands can contact his local Forest Service office. The Delta location can be reached at 970-874-6600, the Paonia location is available at 970-527-4131 and the Montrose location’s number is 970-240-5300.