GRAND JUNCTION, Colo — Colorado is experiencing extreme and exceptional drought conditions heading into the holiday weekend.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials say it’s important for residents to do their part and respect the land they choose to spend time on.
Travis Duncan, with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, says, “following those lead no trace principles, respecting wildlife while you’re out. Not trashing the landscape, making sure you pick up after yourself. Things like that are huge, especially when you have more people out on the landscape and we have conditions that are potentially dangerous with extremely dry conditions on the west slope.”
Extreme drought conditions and fireworks don’t blend well together.
Under stage one fire restrictions, the personal use of fireworks is banned.
If you choose to not follow the rules, a similar situation that happened in 2019 could happen.
The Redlands fire started from the illegal use of fireworks, burning nine acres, and forcing evacuations of nearby homes.
Mesa County residents don’t want to see that this year.
The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office warns residents their wallets could take a hit if fires are started from fireworks.
Megan Terlecky, with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, says, “if you happen to cause a fire during stage one fire restrictions, not only could you face criminal charges, but you could also be held financially responsible for any of the damages incurred by the fire.”
Duncan also says, “encouraging folks that the situation in a lot of parts in western Colorado is extreme in terms of drought and be sure to follow the law this weekend while you’re outside.”
For more information, visit https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/CurrentMap/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?CO for drought conditions and https://sheriff.mesacounty.us/divisions/emergency-services/fire-restrictions/ for fire restrictions.