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Posted on: April 8, 2020

Buena Vista / Chaffee County / USFS & BLM Fire Restrictions

The Town of Buena Vista

July 28 Update

Salida, Colorado
July 28, 2020

Due to the recent heavy rain received throughout the county and after conferring with the chiefs of South Ark Fire, Chaffee Fire and the USFS I am lifting all fire restrictions within the unincorporated lands within Chaffee County.

Area residents and visitors are reminded that the BLM and the USFS remain in fire restrictions but after having conversations with representatives of the USFS they are working to remove their restrictions asap.

Residents and visitors are also reminded that although our conditions have improved drastically due to the recent rain we ask that everyone be very cautious of open fires and please extinguish fully all fires that are to be unattended.

Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze

The USFS and BLM have introduced Stage 2 Fire Restrictions on all lands within Chaffee County.

The following fire-related activities are prohibited on all Chaffee County, Forest Service, and BLM lands:

  1. Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, charcoal barbecue, or grills are prohibited on federal lands. The use of portable stoves, lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel are allowed.
  2. Smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
  3. Operating a chainsaw without a USDA or SAE approved spark arrester properly installed and working, a chemical fire extinguisher of not less than 8 ounces capacity by weight, and one round point shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches.
  4. Using a welder, either arc or gas, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.
  5. Using exploding targets.

Exceptions to the prohibited fire-related activities include:
1. Persons with a Forest Permit, Form FS-7700-48, specifically exempting them from the effect of this Order in the areas listed above.
2. Any Federal, State or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty is exempt from Prohibitions.
3. Persons using pressurized liquid or gas devices (stoves, grills or lanterns) with shut-off valves in an area at least three feet from any flammable materials are exempt from Prohibition #1.
4. Residents, owners or lessees within the areas listed above who are using a fire in a permanent dwelling with an effective and properly installed USDA- or SAE- approved spark arrestor, are exempt from Prohibition #1.

During this fire restriction period, igniting, building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or smoking on national forests and grasslands is a violation of the law and may result in an appearance in federal court, fines, and possible time in jail.

Fire restrictions enhance public safety, protect natural and cultural resources, and help prevent human-caused wildfires. 

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