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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Date: June 25, 2013 Time: 1600 Hours
ROUTT COUNTY COMMISSIONERS WILL CONSIDER STAGE 1 FIRE RESTRICTIONS
Routt County, Colorado – PURSUANT TO ORDINANCE NO. 2013-2, AN ORDINANCE TO RESTRICT FIRES IN UNINCORPORATED PORTIONS OF ROUTT COUNTY DURING PERIODS OF HIGH FIRE DANGER, THE ROUTT COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS WILL CONSIDER A COUNTY-WIDE FIRE RESTRICTION ON PRIVATE AND STATE LANDS NEXT TUESDAY, JULY 2, 2013 AT 10:55 A.M. Fire danger has increased below 9,000 feet where we have critical fuel conditions in Routt County. Fire restrictions are considered only when very high or extreme fire danger is predicted to persist. This determination is based upon current conditions, long-term weather forecasts, and upon the heavy, dry fuel loading which creates the potential for uncontrollable fires. Wildfires can affect entire communities by destroying homes and natural habitat and by killing wildlife. People must take all necessary safety precautions in wildlands and forests. According to Routt County Emergency Manager Bob Struble, “we put these restrictions in place to reduce the likelihood of human-caused fires.” The restrictions will remain in effect until officials determine that conditions have changed sufficiently to reduce the risk of a human-caused wildfire. Rescinding the restrictions will be considered when the critical elements diminish. If the Routt County Board of County Commissioners decides to enact the fire restrictions, it will apply to all private and state owned lands outside municipal boundaries. Exemptions to this order: (a) in unincorporated private and state lands within fire protection district may be granted only by the fire protection district fire chief; or (b) in unincorporated private and state lands outside of a fire protection district by the Routt County Emergency Manager after consultation with the Routt County Sheriff, and only if the proposed action is deemed by the fire protection district chief or, if appropriate Emergency Manager, in consultation with the Sheriff to be safe and the attendant fire danger can be satisfactorily mitigated. – MORE –
STAGE ONE RESTRICTIONS: The following acts are prohibited on all private and state owned lands outside of municipal boundaries. This does not affect federal lands within Routt County. 1. Building, maintaining, attending or using any fire to burn trash, debris, fence rows, irrigation ditches or vegetation, any campfire, warming fire, charcoal grill, except in designated campgrounds, picnic areas or developed recreational sites. 2. Smoking; except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreational site, or while stopped in an area of at least (3) feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material. 3. Operating a chainsaw without a USDA or SAE approved spark arresting device (muffler) properly installed and in effective working order, and a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher of not less than eight (8) ounce capacity by weight, and one (1) round pointed shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches. The extinguisher will be with the chainsaw operator. The shovel may be kept with the fueling supplies but readily available for quick use. 4. Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame; except within an area that is barren or cleared of all flammable material at least 10 feet on all sides from the equipment. 5. Using explosives requiring fuses or blasting caps. Exemptions from Stage 1 Restrictions: 1. Persons with a valid written permit which specifically authorizes the prohibited act: (a) from the fire protection district chief if subject land is within a fire protection district; (b) or Routt County Emergency Manager after consultation with the Routt County Sheriff if subject land is not within a fire protection district. 2. Any federal, state or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an actual duty. 3. Any fires contained within stoves, fireplaces within buildings, charcoal grill fires, recreational fires at private residences with valid permit from district chief, and permanent fire pits or fire grates in developed picnic grounds and camp grounds. 4. Burning of irrigation ditches located within and completely surrounded by irrigated farm lands where such burning is necessary for crop survival with proper permit from: (a) fire protection district chief if subject land is within a – MORE –
fire protection district; (b) or Routt County Emergency Manager after consultation with the Routt County Sheriff if subject land is not within a fire protection district. 5. Hot air balloon activities and the use of UL approved liquid-fueled or gas fueled
“Camp Fire in a Can.”
6. Campfires or bonfires required in religious ceremonies were a specific written
permit has been granted in advance by: (a) the fire protection district chief if subject land is within a fire protection district; or (b) the Routt County Emergency Manager after consultation with the Routt County Sheriff if subject land is not within a fire protection district.
Fine Schedule and Penalty Assessment Procedure. Any person who violates this order commits a class 2 petty offense and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of note more than six hundred dollars ($600) for each separate offense. However, the following fine schedule shall apply: First Offense Second Offense Third or Subsequent Offense Not more than $100 Not more than $200 The maximum fine permitted by law
Should you have any questions, please call your Fire Protection District Chief or the Routt County Office of Emergency Management at (970) 870-5551. Thank you for your cooperation.
North Routt Fire Protection District Bob Reilley – (970) 879-6064 West Routt Fire Protection District Bryan Rickman – (970) 276-3796 Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue Mel Stewart – (970) 879-7170 Oak Creek Fire Protection District Chuck Wisecup – (970) 736-8104 Yampa Fire Protection District Dan Allen – (970) 757-0238
– END –
Bob Struble, Director Cheryl Dalton, Emergency Management Specialist Routt County Office of Emergency Management 522 Lincoln Avenue, Second Floor – P.O. Box 773598 Steamboat Springs, CO 80477-3598 (970) 870-5551
(970) 870-5549 (970) 870-5561 (Fax)
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org www.co.routt.co.us
Fuels and Fire Behavior Advisory
Western Slope of Colorado
06/21/2013 Subject: Western Colorado is in the third year of drought. The situation is predicted to persist or intensify
through July. There is increased risk of large fire development and intense fire behavior. Dry, heavy fuels at higher elevations could pose a greater risk of active fire behavior.
Discussion: The wet spring pattern that occurred during April and May has provided a brief reprieve. Live
and dead fuel moistures are quickly returning to a condition that will support large fire growth. Forecasts do not offer the prospect of live or dead fuels conditions improving through July.
Difference from normal conditions: Fuels are described by fire managers as being deceptively green.
The visual greenness being observed can lessen the sense of fire potential. Live fuels, which had shown some improvement from late spring precipitation, are drying. On the Western Slope of Colorado, 100FM fuels are setting historically low values for the date, nearing the 3rd percentile, and moving into the range associated with historic large fires. Long-term drying has made large, higher elevation fuels, available as well.
Concerns to Firefighters and the Public:
Recent large fires on the Front Range and Western Slope have displayed intense and/or extreme fire behavior. Long-range spotting, fire whorls, extreme fireline intensity and high winds have been observed and will continue to be control problems on both wildland and urban interface incidents. Local preparedness planning and cooperation should be on-going. Management of suppression resources rest and recovery as activity increases.
Mitigation Measures: Strategies for dealing with each of the specific circumstances listed above include
using Predictive Service’s forecasts of higher potential for large fire occurrence, rapid initial attack in those high risk areas, and daily fire and fuels briefings to suppression personnel.
BRIEFINGS All resources need to be aware of local conditions and hazards. Through briefings from local units must occur in order to understand local influences and understand unique hazards. LOCAL FACTORS Large areas of beetle killed lodge pole and spruce pine beetle have verified risks associated with available dead fuels and falling snags. TERRAIN AND FUELS MAKE ESCAPE TO SAFETY ZONES DIFFICULT Gambles Oak is highly receptive with fuel moistures <125% especially when aligned with wind, slope, and sun. INDUSTRIAL INTERFACE Review and understand Interagency Standards for Fire and Aviation Operations Chapter 7-20, Responding to Wildland Fires in or near Oil/Gas Operations. Safety and Risk Management Chapter 7 RISK MANAGEMENT Constantly evaluate the probability and the severity of your actions. Evaluate the risk you accept against the values at risk. Stand fast on the principles of HRO and the Risk Management Process with all actions taken.
Area of Concern: Submitted by the Upper Colorado River Fire Management Unit, Colorado, Western
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