Partial ban to take effect May 29, after Memorial Day weekend
Gunnison County Commissioners voted unanimously this week to enact “Stage 1” fire restrictions. The partial fire ban impacts all of Gunnison County — including on private lands — effective May 29.
Members of the Gunnison Basin Wildfire Council — comprised of representatives from the county’s fire departments, the Sheriff’s Office, county Emergency Management office, state and federal forest services and the Bureau of Land Management — brought the recommendation to enact the restrictions before the commissioners Tuesday.
The restrictions are based on what the council considers wildfire “triggers” such as dry conditions and long-range forecasts. Stage 1 restrictions are as follows:
1. FIRES/BURNING: Fires that are not contained within permanently constructed devices, open fires/burning, agricultural burning, and the burning of trash or debris.
2. COOKING: Charcoal grills, hibachis, and coal or wood-burning stoves on federal lands.
3. CAMPFIRES: Building, maintaining, attending or using a campfire not within designated signed campgrounds or developed recreation sites with provided fire grates.
4. FIREWORKS: The use of fireworks or explosives. Including all incendiary devices on public or private lands, including explosive targets.
The following activities are permitted, with the described limitations:
1. FIRES: Fires in chimineas, fire pits, and tiki-torch type manufactured devices on private property.
2. COOKING: Cooking on manufactured charcoal grills, petroleum-fueled stoves or lanterns that use gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel.
3. CAMPFIRES: Campfires with flame length not exceeding two feet in height within pre-fabricated concrete/metal fire enclosures in established campgrounds (USFS, NPS, privately owned).
4. FIREWORKS: The City of Gunnison Fourth of July fireworks display, and professional fireworks display(s) in Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte shall be allowed unless further restricted by the Board.
5. SMOKING: Smoking outdoors is allowed ONLY within enclosed vehicles, buildings or developed recreation sites, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
6. WELDING & ACETYLENE TORCHES: Welding or operating acetylene torches with flame is allowed ONLY in cleared areas of at least 10 feet in diameter and where the operator is in possession of a chemical-pressurized fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of 2A.
7. CHAINSAWS: Operating a chainsaw is allowed ONLY if the device includes a USDA Forest Service or SAE approved spark arrester, and where the operator is in possession of a chemical-pressurized fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of 2A.