MESA COUNTY, Colo – The Mesa County Sheriff, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Grand Junction Field Office, and the Colorado National Monument are reducing fire restrictions from Stage 2 to Stage 1 effective at 12:01 a.m. Friday, September 18th, 2020. This applies to all of Mesa County, including the Colorado National Monument and BLM administered public lands. Land managed by the U.S. Forest Service, including the Grand Mesa and Uncompahgre National Forests, remains in Stage 1 Fire Restrictions.
Recent rain combined with shorter days and longer cooler nights have improved the extreme fire danger enough to support moving from Stage 2 Fire Restrictions to Stage 1. Agencies implement fire restrictions based on specific criteria to include the moisture content of vegetation, weather outlooks, human risk factors, and firefighting resource availability. Mesa County recently received 1.0 to 1.25 inches of precipitation. As we move into fall, the longer nights provide a better opportunity for vegetation moisture levels to recover.
Allowed under Stage 1 not previously allowed under Stage 2:
- The use of charcoal grills
- Campfires inside designated and developed fire pits or fire rings
- Smoking outside in an area free of combustible materials
While last week’s storms have helped ease fire danger, it was not a fire-season ending event. Mesa County is experiencing extreme drought conditions with no forecasted relief anytime soon. The potential still exists for dangerous wildfires this fall. Community members are asked to continue to be vigilant and remain cautious when using fire outdoors, especially in heavily grassy areas. The public can help significantly reduce human-caused fires by being proactive with activities that could ignite a wildfire.
- Never leave a fire unattended
- Extinguish fire pits and campfires in designated fire rings and ensure they are completely out and cold to the touch
- Properly dispose of cigarettes
- When pulling a trailer, make sure the chains and other metal parts aren’t dragging
- Check your tire pressure and brakes. An exposed wheel rim or too thin brake pads can cause sparks.
A reminder, fireworks are never permitted on public land. Wood fires are never permitted anywhere on the Colorado National Monument.
Conditions will continue to be monitored, and restrictions will be adjusted accordingly should it change.