For Immediate Release
October 18, 2019
Kimberlee Phillips, USFS PAO
Katie Yergensen, Montrose County PIO
Counties and Public Land Agencies Offer Friendly Reminders on Best Practices for Preventing Wildfires
Montrose,COLO.—The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Gunnison, Uncompahgre and Tres Rios Field Offices; Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC); National Park Service (NPS), Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Curecanti National Recreation Area; the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests; Colorado Parks and Wildlife; Hinsdale County; San Miguel County; Delta County; Gunnison County; Ouray County; and Montrose County would like to provide a few helpful reminders and tips for best practices to help prevent wildfires this fall.
The Cow Creek fire is currently burning in Ouray County, and while the cause of the fire remains under investigation officials would like to encourage the public to be mindful of fire safety. At this time there are no active fire restrictions within any of the above counties to include U.S. Forest Service managed land. County law enforcement, public land officials, and weather forecasters continue to monitor conditions to determine whether or not restrictions are necessary.
Recreational users on public lands and public engaging in agricultural burning should keep a few things in mind that can help prevent an unintentional wildfire. To reduce wildfire risk, please consider the following:
*Practicing proper vehicle maintenance; ensuring that tow chains are secured and a vehicle has no dragging parts, check tire pressure, and properly maintaining your brakes. Even chains dragging along the ground, such as those on ATVs, can spark fires.
*Park your vehicles/trailers and off-highway vehicles away from dry grass or brush.
*When target shooting taking a few simple precautions can prevent devastating results: place your target on dirt or gravel, switch to paper targets, avoid incendiary targets and exploding ammunition, bring a shovel and fire extinguisher, and report any fires by calling 911.
*Fireworks are never permitted on public lands.
*If you are camping and build a fire outside a designated fire ring make sure you clear the area of debris including, grasses and small vegetation. Clear your fire site perimeter approximately 10 feet in diameter and use rocks or a fire pan to contain your fire. Never leave a fire unattended and make sure that you completely put out your campfire before leaving your campsite. The act of leaving a camp fire unattended can result in a citation.
*Practice the drown, stir, feel method when extinguishing your campfire. Use water or dirt to douse the fire, stir the ashes and if necessary continue to add water or dirt until the fire is smothered.
*When smoking, always dispose of cigarette debris in an ashtray.
*Avoid driving and parking in tall grasses. Exhaust particles and hot exhaust pipes can start grass fires.
*Call your local non-emergency dispatch before and after agricultural burning and know open burning regulations in your area.
Even an accidental fire start can result in the individual being held responsible including fines and/or jail time. Visit One Less Spark (http://www.readyforwildfire.org/Prevent-Wildfire/) for more great tips on how to prevent wildfire and be prepared for fire season. To learn more about campfire safety visit www.smokeybear.com.
Before heading outside, be sure to “Know Before You Go!” Helpful information about planning your trip can be found on the “Know Before You Go” (https://www.fs.fed.us/visit/know-before-you-go). Regulations vary between land management agencies, learn what is permitted before you use fire.
Adhere to the Leave No Trace Principles (https://lnt.org/why/7-principles/) of outdoor ethics to leave your favorite spot ready for the next visitors to enjoy. Keep yourself safe while recreating outdoors by checking the weather before you go, taking the appropriate equipment including maps, carrying enough food and water, letting someone know where you are going and when you plan to be back, and utilizing suggested or required safety equipment. Local fire restriction information can be found online at: https://www.westslopefireinfo.com/.
For more information on the Cow Creek Fire, please visit fb.com/GMUGFireInfo
For more information on regulations for DFPC please visit: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dfpc
For more information on regulations for the BLM-Uncompahgre Field Office please visit: https://www.blm.gov/office/uncompahgre-field-office
For more information on regulations for the BLM-Tres Rios Field Office please visit: https://www.blm.gov/office/tres-rios-field-office
For more information on regulations for the NPS, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park please visit: https://www.nps.gov/blca/index.htm
For more information on regulations for the Curecanti National Recreation Area please visit: https://www.nps.gov/cure/index.htm
For more information on regulations for the GMUG please visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/gmug/home/?cid=STELPRDB5420083