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Fire Restrictions and Backcountry Adventures

By admin Published July 24, 2020

A "No Fire" sign depicting a banned open flame, indicating fire restrictions in the area.


As of Friday, June 26, Garfield and surrounding counties are in Stage I fire restrictions. These restrictions are implemented in Garfield, Pitkin, Gunnison, BLM, and USFS. What are Stage I Fire Restrictions and how do they affect you? Read on before you set off on your next adventure.  

From a recent Garfield County press release:

Fire restrictions are implemented based on specific criteria to include the moisture content of vegetation, weather outlooks, human risk factors, and firefighting resource availability. It’s been hot, dry, and unseasonably windy. 

Here’s what Stage I Restrictions mean:

  • Fireworks are not allowed under Stage I Fire Restrictions. Professional fireworks shows may be allowed through the permitting process.
  • All burn permits are postponed/canceled until further notice.
  • Campfires are only allowed within designated fire grates in developed areas (i.e. a permanent in-ground containment structure or store-bought fire pit) A temporary fire pan and rock campfire rings will not be acceptable.
  • No fires of any type including charcoal in undeveloped areas.
  • No smoking except within a designated area, enclosed vehicle or building, a developed area, or in an area free of combustibles.
  • No use of fireworks or explosive materials, including “exploding” targets or bullets and tracer rounds.
  • Exercise common sense and industry safety practice when welding or in the operation of an acetylene or other similar torch with an open flame in an always cleared safe area of vegetation and combustibles.

For more information please refer to the fire restrictions page on our website. 

Being Smart and Safe in the Backcountry 

This summer is different than most for many reasons, but one of the biggest factors has to do with the pandemic and how that impacts travel for most. People are generally keeping closer to home and we have seen an increase in interest in backcountry adventures. With the increase in outdoor activities, we want to encourage people to be educated in safety protocols and be prepared in case of an emergency situation. Our local search and rescue teams are amazing and already handle so much, so we hope to lessen the load by limiting the number of rescues needed. 

Here are some tips to keep in mind for your next adventure:

            The best way to be prepared is to know your limits and educate yourself on safety procedures. Make plans to hike in a group, stick together, and always listen to your body. Humans have great instincts and if your body is telling you that something is wrong, it most likely is. The great thing about the outdoors is that the trail you wanted to hike today, will most likely still be there tomorrow, so take care of yourself first. If you have any questions or would like additional resources, feel free to reach out to your friends at the Carbondale Fire Department.