Forest Service News Release

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Stage 1 Fire Restrictions Effective June 16th

San Juan National Forest and partners implement fire restrictions due to critical conditions

Durango, Colo., June 15, 2021— San Juan National Forest Fire Management Staff are implementing Stage I Fire Restrictions (order) on all National Forest System lands within the San Juan National Forest (map), including wilderness, beginning Wednesday, June 16th. Fire restrictions are designed to protect public safety and our area natural resources. Southwest Colorado is in extreme drought with continued hot, dry weather forecasts creating a critical fire environment. The fine for violating campfire restrictions in Stage I has been raised to $500 in Colorado.

The following are PROHIBITED under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions on the San Juan National Forest:

  • Igniting, building, maintaining, or using a fire (includes fires fueled by charcoal or briquettes) outside of a permanent metal or concrete fire pit or grate that the Forest Service has installed and maintained at its developed recreation sites (campgrounds and picnic areas). $500 fine.
    • EXCEPT: The use of a stove or grill solely fueled by liquid petroleum fuels, or a fully enclosed metal stove, grill, or sheep herder type stove with a chimney at least 5’ and a mesh screen spark arrestor.
  • Smoking. Except in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least 3’ in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials. $300 fine.
  • Operating a chainsaw without an effective and properly installed USDA- or Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)- approved spark arrestor, a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher (with a minimum 8 oz. capacity and rating of 2A) kept with the operator, and a round point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches readily available for use. $300 fine.
  • Blasting, welding, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame without being in a cleared area of at least 10 feet in diameter and keeping a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher (with a minimum 8 oz. capacity and rating of 2A) with the operator. $300 fine.
  • Using an explosive. This includes but is not limited to fuses, blasting caps, fireworks, rockets, exploding targets, tracers, and incendiary ammunition. $300. $500 for exploding targets.

Neighboring federal, state, and local fire managers are also entering fire restrictions. We work closely with our partners in fire prevention to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires across the landscape. Visit the Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center fire restrictions page and know before you go.

Almost 90% of all wildfires on public lands are started by humans. It is every forest visitor’s responsibility to recreate responsibly and follow best practices. To report a fire call 9-1-1.

For information on current fire restrictions, conditions, and recreation opportunities on the San Juan National Forest, call (970) 247-4874, visit the forest website, or follow us on social media (Twitter and Facebook).