Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests initiate fire restrictions

Stage I Fire Restriction went into effect for the Boulder, Canyon Lakes and Clear Creek Ranger Districts of the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests on July 11. Additionally a restriction on discharging a firearm on National Forest System lands in Boulder County was put in place in support of the Cold Springs Fire operations.

The Stage 1 fire restrictions limit where and what type of fires visitors can have and are in place until rescinded. Within the fire restriction area, forest visitors cannot:

· Build or maintain a fire or use charcoal, coal, or wood stoves, except within a developed recreation site (e.g., campgrounds where fees are charged).

· Use explosives, including fireworks.

· Smoke, except in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while in an area at least three feet in diameter cleared of all flammable materials.

· Possess or use a motor vehicle off National Forest System roads, except when parking in an area devoid of vegetation within ten feet of the roadway or parking overnight in a developed campground or trailhead.

· Weld or operate an acetylene or other torch with an open flame.

· Use any internal or external combustion engine (including chainsaws) without a spark arresting devise properly working.

The shooting order restricts discharging a firearm on National Forest System lands in Boulder County. These restrictions were put in place to support the fire operation efforts on the Cold Springs Fire. Any person possessing a valid Colorado hunting license lawfully involved in hunting and harvesting game is exempt from the shooting restriction.

Not complying with the Stage 1 fire restriction order could result in a minimum fine of $300, but could be more, or a mandatory Federal Magistrate Court appearance. If responsible for causing a wildfire, one could be held accountable for suppression costs of that fire. The penalty for not complying with the restrictions on discharging a firearm will result in a mandatory Federal Magistrate Court appearance.

Forest Service staff will continue to monitor conditions and consider the variety of options to address those conditions, including additional restrictions if weather remains dry and lessening or rescinding restriction if a rainy weather pattern starts. To view the fire restriction order, go to www.fs.usda.gov/arp. They will be listed in the “Alerts and Notices” box on the right.

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