Countywide Stage 1 fire restrictions in effect


Special to the Plaindealer
On June 1 the Board of County Commissioners adopted a resolution at a noticed, special meeting, to implement Stage 1 Fire Restrictions and Limited Fire Ban within the unincorporated areas of Ouray County, effective at 6 a.m. on June 11. The action was based on a recommendation by Sheriff Junior Mattivi and will remain in effect until June 30 or as otherwise modified, rescinded or extended by resolution of the Board of County Commissioners.  The following are prohibited during the restriction:  

a. Open burning, the use of fireworks, open charcoal or wood fires, the burning of trash or debris, or the burning of ditches.
b. Building, maintaining, attending or using a campfire except in designated and signed campgrounds or developed recreation sites with provided fire grates.
c. Smoking, unless in an enclosed vehicle, trailer, building or tent, a developed recreation sire, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
d. Use of explosives, which includes private use of fireworks.
e. Operating a chainsaw without an approved spark arrester and without a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher of not less than eight ounces capacity by weight, and one size O or larger pointed shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches.  The extinguisher shall be with the power saw operator.
f. Welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with an open flame except in an area that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials at least 10 feet on all sides from the equipment.
g. EXCEPT that the following activities are permitted: cooking on manufactured charcoal, liquid fuel or propane grills; campfires with flame length not exceeding two feet in height in pre-fabricated concrete or metal fire enclosures in established campgrounds (USFS, NPS, privately owned); fires in chiminea type manufactured enclosures on private property.
h. AND EXCEPT that the City of Ouray 4th of July fireworks, executed in unincorporated Ouray County, shall be allowed unless further restricted by the Board of County Commissioners.

On June 26, at its regular meeting at the 4-H Center in Ridgway, commissioners will consider whether to extend the restrictions beyond June 30. During the commissioners meeting on June 12, Commissioner Mike Fedel expressed full support for the restrictions but wondered what effect a fire ban might have on the tourist industry.
The Ouray County Sheriff's Office urges strict compliance with the Stage 1 Fire Restrictions by all residents and visitors of Ouray County during these extremely dry and dangerous conditions. The resolution adopted by the BOCC is available at; click on Fire Ban. For further information, please contact the Sheriff's Office at 970-325-7272.