USFS: Hanging Lake trail closed for the foreseeable future due to damage

White River National Forest

Hanging Lake water is clearing following July debris flows

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 18, 2021) – The Forest Service announced today that Hanging Lake Trail will be closed for the rest of the season and likely beyond. The announcement comes following a preliminary trail assessment this week that found significant damage and issues resulting from debris flows following the intense rain storms in late July.

“Unfortunately, when our crews surveyed the trail, we found significant damage.  Bridges have been completely destroyed or severely damaged and there are mudslides blocking large sections of the trail.  The Hanging Lake Trail is not safe and impassable in some areas and will remain closed for the foreseeable future,” said White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams. “The debris flows we saw in July are probably not the last we will see, so there could be additional damage in the weeks and months ahead.”

A more detailed survey of the trail needs to be completed to determine the next steps for trail repair and reconstruction.

“We know this is difficult news for the many people who cherish Hanging Lake,” Fitzwilliams said. “It’s also tough for the community and those of us who have worked to protect this iconic Colorado destination.  We are committed to doing everything we can to reconstruct the trail as soon as funds become available.”

Reservation holders will be given the opportunity for a refund or to donate to a fund to help Hanging Lake and area. More information is available at

“The good news is that the water in Hanging Lake is clearing from the debris flow, the boardwalk at the lake wasn’t damaged, and the fish are still swimming,” Fitzwilliams said.

Hanging Lake
Hanging Lake
Hanging Lake bridge previous location
Previous location of bridge
Hanging Lake bridge damage
Bridge damage
USFS: Hanging Lake trail closed for the foreseeable future due to damage

White River National Forest lifting fire restrictions

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (July 29, 2021) – Beginning Friday, the White River National Forest will lift fire restrictions.

Fire danger has been moderated due to recent precipitation across much of the White River National Forest.   There is still some risk from wildfire and conditions will vary by location. Caution and compliance with fire safety across the forest is critical. 

“The recent rains have improved conditions considerably.  However, we are still in a drought and things can dry out quickly.  Please use caution with campfires.  Put out all campfires and make sure the ashes are cold before you leave them,” said Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams. 

Staff will continue to monitor conditions.  If there is a change in risk, fire restrictions may be re-established. Visitors are encouraged to visit the forest service webpage at and check for Alerts & Warnings prior to visiting the forest to have current information about conditions and fire restrictions on the forest.

White River National Forest lifting fire restrictions

WRNF: Recreating in Glenwood Canyon includes added risk of debris flow

White River National Forest

Friday, July 2 2:36 p.m.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. – The White River Nation Forest reminds people
planning to recreate in Glenwood Canyon to be aware of the risk of debris flow around the Grizzly
Creek Fire scar.

“Even moderate rainfall rates can cause significant flooding and debris flow in the first few years after
a wildfire,” said White River Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams. “Check the forecast before heading
out to recreate in Glenwood Canyon. If rain is forecast, you may want to consider another option.”

Modeling for the Grizzly Creek burn scar indicates that 0.25 inches of precipitation in 15 minutes
could cause a severe debris flow. Debris flow modeling shows multiple areas where a debris flow risk
is moderate to high, including areas adjacent to I-70, the No Name drainage and the Grizzly Creek

If you choose to recreate in Glenwood Canyon:
• Be aware of the increased risk of debris flow and other post-fire hazards such as falling rocks
and trees.
• Be aware of the potential for closures to rest stops and the bike path if there is a flash flood
watch, and to I-70 if there is a flash flood warning. Visit for the latest updates.
• Be prepared to spend more time out than you anticipated in case there are closures.
• Know what to do in case of a flash flood.

According to the National Weather Service:
If you are in a drainage area or in other low spots, walk or climb to higher ground. Know
your escape routes and act as quickly as possible. A short walk or climb to higher ground
may just save your life.

Many flash flood deaths occur in vehicles. Turn around, don’t drown. Do not drive
through a flooded roadway. The water may be much deeper than you think because the
roadway may be damaged or washed away. One to two feet of water will carry away most

“Debris flow risk around the Grizzly Creek Fire burn scar will be with us for the next several years,”
Fitzwilliams said.

WRNF: Recreating in Glenwood Canyon includes added risk of debris flow

Stage 2 fire restrictions begin Friday June 25, 2021

Current Garfield County fire restrictions


Garfield County, CO, The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, BLM lands in Garfield County, Forest Service lands in Garfield and the seven Fire Districts in Garfield County are implementing Stage 2 Fire Restrictions effective at 12:01 a.m. Friday, June 25, 2021. This applies to all of unincorporated Garfield County.

This decision was made with thoughtful consideration. We look at the data as well as the potential for significant wildfires and balance it with the impacts to our community. The current active wildfires in Garfield County have already stretched our available resources and effected our ability to respond as necessary.

Fire restrictions are implemented based on specific criteria to including moisture content of vegetation, weather outlooks, human risk factors and firefighting resource availability.

With increasingly dry vegetation, severe drought conditions, and Fourth of July celebrations approaching, the danger for human caused wildfires increases even more.


  1. Use of fireworks – Not permitted
  2. Burn Permits (General) – No Burn Permits will be issued. All previously-issued burn permits are cancelled.
  3. Cooking Fires – Use caution and keep attended.  Cooking devices must be clean (including gas cylinder) and in proper working order.
    1. Gas Grills – No permit required. 
    2. Charcoal and other Solid Fuel Grills & Cookers – No permit required in Developed Areas only.   
    3. In Undeveloped Areas, a permit from the local fire department may be required.
  4. Smoking – Open Smoking allowed in Developed Areas
    1. In Undeveloped Areas, allowed only in an enclosed vehicle or building.
  5. Welding and Spark-emitting cutting (Hot Work) – Developed area: Use extreme caution and take preventative measures as necessary.
    1. Undeveloped area: Industrial use only. A permit from the local fire department may be required.  Must be in a cleared area at least 10 feet in diameter with a designated lookout.  Must have Class A fire extinguishing capabilities readily available.
  6. Operating of internal combustion engine-powered equipment such as Chain Saws, hand-held tools, or generators without a spark-arresting device is prohibited.   If described equipment does have a spark arresting device, you must have Class A fire extinguishing capabilities readily available, and round-point shovel (36″ length minimum) shall be readily available for use.
  7. Other internal combustion engine-powered equipment, such as tractors and mowers: Operate with extreme caution paying special attention in areas subject to extreme conditions that may be susceptible to ignition (dry weeds and grasses, etc.). 
  8. Use of explosives, explosive targets and steel or tracer bullets – Not permitted
  9. Use of firearms – Steel jacket/core bullets (Armor Piercing) and tracer bullets are expressly prohibited.  It is the responsibility of each independent range to ensure safe fire conditions at all times the range is in use.  This includes: mitigating fuels that may potentially catch fire; monitoring downrange conditions/impacts; maintaining the ability to access and rapidly extinguish fires; notifying the local fire department immediately in the event of a fire of any size. Keeping a usable fire-extinguishing application method on hand is strongly recommended. 
    1. If shooting at an unattended range – including those on public and private property – the responsibility for ensuring safe fire conditions falls on the independent shooter.

By Definition:

A “Developed Area” is an area, whether within city limits or rural, that is groomed, manicured and or watered, where grasses, brush and trees are regularly attended to by landowner.  This includes residential and business areas, improved recreational areas, parks and other common areas.

Undeveloped Areas” are lands that are not groomed, manicured, or watered; where grasses, brush and trees have been allowed to grow in a natural environment. This includes green belts that are not landscaped or manicured, open space lands, non-manicured parklands, and other areas where the fire hazard presented by the vegetation is determined by the authority having jurisdiction or designee to be an undue wildland fire hazard. 

Stage 2 fire restrictions begin Friday June 25, 2021

BLM: Much of northwest Colorado implementing Stage 2 fire restrictions

CRAIG, Colo. – Stage 2 fire restrictions begin Friday, June 25 at 12:01 a.m. for Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administered lands in Grand, Eagle, Summit, Routt, Moffat, Garfield and Rio Blanco counties along with lands within the Kremmling, White River, and Little Snake Field Offices.

More information can be found on the Garfield County Emergency Management fire restrictions page.

Recent hot and windy conditions across northwest Colorado have dried out fuels providing optimal conditions for wildfires. Fire crews have been busy in recent days engaging the Oil Springs Fire in Rio Blanco County estimated at 11,993 acres 20 miles south of Rangely; the West Fire in northwest Moffat County estimated at 3,100 acres 80 miles northwest of Craig, and the Muddy Slide Fire in Routt County estimated at 4,000 acres 18 miles west of Kremmling.

Based on these recent conditions, officials decided to implement stage 2 fire restrictions beginning June 25. The BLM is enforcing the following temporary restrictions on all BLM public lands under stage 2 fire restrictions until further notice:
•No building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire, charcoal grill, coal, wood burning stove, or sheepherders’ stove, including in developed camping and picnic grounds. Devices using pressurized liquid or gas are exempted.
•No smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, trailer, building, or tent.
•Using an explosive requiring fuse or blasting caps, fireworks, rockets, exploding targets and tracers, or incendiary ammunition.
•No operating or using any internal combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained, and in effective working order meeting either: Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Standard 5100-1a; or 8 Appropriate Society of automotive Engineers (SAE) recommended practice J335(b) and J350(a). 36 CFR 261.52(j).
•No operating a chainsaw without an approved spark arrestor, and without a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher, and a round-point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches. The extinguisher will be with the equipment operator. The shovel may be kept with fueling supplies but readily available for use.
•No welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame (except with a current permit, contract, or letter of authorization).

These new stage 2 fire restrictions will be in conjunction with restrictions that begin this week in other northwest Colorado locations including White River National Forest, Dinosaur National Monument, and Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge.

Maps and fire restriction orders are available on the BLM Colorado webpage or the Craig Interagency Dispatch Center webpage. General information about fire restrictions in Colorado is available online at

BLM: Much of northwest Colorado implementing Stage 2 fire restrictions

GCECA: Fire closes Douglas Pass

Garfield County Emergency Communications Authority

Hwy 139 is closed between mile-markers 12 to 39 both directions, Douglas Pass, due to a wildland fire. Fire is putting off a lot of smoke.

BLM: Small fires in Garfield County

The BLM reported a number of spot fires in western Garfield County yesterday. Federal maps show these north of Debeque in Garfield County, west of Rifle and one along the Hogback range north of Silt.

USFS: Sylvan Fire burning south of Eagle

Sylvan Fire in Eagle County on Inciweb
Sylvan Fire evacuation and community information

Pitkin County alert
6-21-21 9:00 a.m.
As of 6:30 a.m., the upper Frying Pan from the dam to Hagerman Pass is under pre-evacuation notice, due to the Sylvan Fire. An evacuation center is set up at the Basalt High School (600 Southside Drive). If you choose to evacuate and need resources, please go to the Basalt High School. More information is available at, or follow your local media and social media for updates.

White River National Forest: Sylvan Fire
June 20, 2021 8:59 p.m.

EAGLE, Colo. — Sixty firefighters, four single-engine air-tankers and a light helicopter worked the 180-acre Sylvan Fire 12 miles south of Eagle, Colo. today.

The fire is burning in timber on the White River National Forest about half a mile from Sylvan Lake State Park. Firefighters reported extreme fire behavior, as strong winds pushed the fire to the south and southeast.

The fire was reported about 3:15 p.m. today. The cause is currently unknown and under investigation.

Campers and others recreating in Sylvan Lake State Park and much of the surrounding lands have been evacuated. Much of the area in the vicinity of the fire has been closed, including Sylvan Lake State Park. Firefighters have taken steps to protect structures at the state park. Other infrastructure at risk includes a major power line in the burn area.

The latest information, including a map of the closure when it is available, is being posted at  

White River National Forest: Sylvan Fire update June 20, 2021 6 p.m.

Federal and local firefighters are on-scene of the Sylvan Fire burning about ½-mile west of Sylvan Lake State Park in Eagle County. The fire is estimated at 90 acres and growing in lodgepole pine and other timber on the White River National Forest. It is being pushed by high winds and firefighters are reporting extreme fire behavior.

Additional ground crews and aerial resources have been ordered. Campers and others recreating in Sylvan Lake State Park and much of the surrounding lands have been evacuated. Crews are working on structure protection preparation work in Sylvan Lake State Park. There is a major transmission line in the fire area.

The cause is unknown. More information will be shared when it becomes available.  

CDPHE: Air Quality Health Advisory for wildfire smoke

Issued for Moffat, Rio Blanco, Garfield, Routt, and Eagle counties

Issued at 6:30 PM MDT, Sunday, June 20, 2021

Issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Affected area:  Moffat, Rio Blanco, Garfield, Routt, and Eagle Counties. Locations include, but are not limited to Craig, Meeker, Rifle, Glenwood Springs, Steamboat Springs, Eagle, and Vail.

Advisory in effect:  6:30 PM MDT, Sunday, June 20, 2021 to 9:00 AM MDT, Monday, June 21, 2021.

Public health recommendations: If smoke is thick or becomes thick in your neighborhood you may want to remain indoors.  This is especially true for those with heart disease, respiratory illnesses, the very young, and the elderly.  Consider limiting outdoor activity when moderate to heavy smoke is present.  Consider relocating temporarily if smoke is present indoors and is making you ill.  If visibility is less than 5 miles in smoke in your neighborhood, smoke has reached levels that are unhealthy.

Outlook:  Areas of moderate to heavy smoke have been observed across the advisory area Saturday evening due to smoke transported from both in-state and out-of-state wildfires.  Smoke will likely linger overnight as the winds turn calm, particularly in valley locations. 

For the latest Smoke Outlook, visit:

For more information about smoke and your health, visit:

For the latest Colorado statewide air quality conditions, forecasts, and advisories, visit:

Social media:

GCECA: Fire closes Douglas Pass

BLM lands in Eagle, Garfield, and Pitkin counties and White River National Forest enact Stage 1 fire restrictions

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. – All lands managed by the White River National Forest and lands in Eagle, Garfield, and Pitkin counties managed by the Bureau of Land Management will be under stage 1 fire restrictions beginning Friday, June 18.

Unincorporated private lands in Pitkin and Rio Blanco counties enter Fire Restrictions June 16.   Unincorporated private lands in Eagle, Garfield, and Summit counties will also enter fire restrictions on June 18. 

Under stage 1 restrictions:

  • campfires are only allowed within designated fire grates in developed campgrounds (i.e. a metal, in-ground containment structure — fire pans and rock campfire rings are not acceptable)
  • no fires of any type including charcoal outside of developed areas
  • no smoking except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or in a barren area free of vegetation
  • no use of explosive materials, including explosive targets
  • no welding or operation of an acetylene or other similar torch with open flame except from an area that has been cleared of vegetation
  • no operation of any internal combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed and in working order

Although conditions vary across the area, a longer-term drying trend is expected.

“Fire restrictions are prudent at this time considering the long-range forecast, fuel moisture conditions on the ground, and the continued high public visitation,” said White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams.

“As conditions dry, we are seeing more human-caused fire starts across multiple jurisdictions,” said BLM Colorado River Valley Field Manager Larry Sandoval. “In developed areas where campfires are permitted, please ensure your fire is completely out and cold before leaving. Please remember that fireworks are not allowed on Federal land.”

Officials consider a number of criteria when determining the need for fire restrictions, including current and anticipated fire danger, resource availability, and consistency with neighboring jurisdictions. Local, county, state and federal officials within the UCR area evaluate and coordinate fire restrictions weekly during fire season.

For more information about the White River National Forest, call 970 945-2521 or visit For more information about the BLM, call 970 876-9000 or visit

2021 Bureau of Land Management Fire Prevention Order
2021 BLM Fire Prevention Stage 1 map
White River National Forest Stage 1 restrictions

BLM lands in Eagle, Garfield, and Pitkin counties and White River National Forest enact Stage 1 fire restrictions

White River National Forest to lift fire restrictions over most of forest

Dillon Ranger District remains in Stage 2 restrictions in coordination with Summit County

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. – Beginning Friday, most ranger districts on the White River National Forest will lift fire restrictions.

The Aspen-Sopris, Blanco, Eagle-Holy Cross, and Rifle ranger districts are lifting restrictions Friday as fire danger has decreased with the recent snow.

The Dillon Ranger District is coordinating with Summit County and will remain in Stage 2 fire restrictions, which prohibit all fires and charcoal on Forest lands, including wood stoves used in wall tents. Propane and other petroleum-fueled stoves and camping equipment are allowed.

“While fire danger has moderated with this snow, conditions vary by location. There is still fire danger, and people need to be careful with fire,” said Deputy Forest Supervisor Lisa Stoeffler. “Warm, dry weather is returning, which will gradually increase fire danger.”

For more information about the White River National Forest, call 970 945-2521 or visit

White River National Forest to lift fire restrictions over most of forest

WRNF: Forest officials stress caution as fire danger remains high

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. – Forest officials with the White River National Forest are urging the public to remain vigilant and follow fire restrictions and common-sense campfire use where allowed.

In spite of cool evening temperatures and shorter days, fire danger remains high across the White River National Forest with unseasonably dry and windy conditions. All ranger districts remain in Stage 1 fire restrictions.

“We are still seeing large fires with extreme fire behavior in many parts of Colorado,” said White River National Forest Deputy Supervisor Lisa Stoeffler. “The same potential exists in the White River National Forest, and resources are stretched thin across the region. This isn’t your typical October in Colorado. We absolutely need people to be smart when it comes to fire.”

Fire personnel continue to report illegal and abandoned campfires, and despite colder overnight temperatures, these fires have high potential to spread during warm daytime conditions.  

“We’re responding to frequent human-caused wildfires – about one a day,” said Lathan Johnson, Upper Colorado River Fire Management Officer.  “We need for the public to abide by the current fire restrictions.”

Under Stage 1 fire restrictions, campfires and charcoal are only allowed in developed Forest Service campgrounds in the metal fire rings and grates provided. Where fires are allowed campers should drown their campfires with water and stir until coals are cool to the touch before leaving camp.

Propane and other petroleum-fueled stoves and camping equipment are allowed throughout the forest under Stage 1, as are sheep-herder and other wood-burning stoves often used in hunting tents provided they are fully enclosed metal stoves with a chimney at least five feet in length and have a spark arrestor with a screen opening of ¼ inch or less.

For more information about the current Stage 1 fire restrictions on the White River National Forest, call 970-945-2521 or visit

WRNF: Forest officials stress caution as fire danger remains high

Smoke continues on Grizzly Creek Fire

Firefighters are monitoring smoke that continues to be visible from the Grizzly Creek Fire on warm afternoons and will take action if needed.

Currently, smoke is showing in the Grizzly Creek drainage on the north side of the fire and the Devil’s Hole drainage south of I-70 are not posing threats to the fire line, and the fire has not grown. It remains 32,431 acres and 91 percent contained.

Eight firefighters from the White River Fire Module are on the ground monitoring the fire. A type 3 helicopter with five crew members is assigned and available in Rifle when needed.

“We’ll continue to see smoke like this until we get some moisture,” said Incident Commander Dan Nielsen. “Please respect the area closure of the fire perimeter and remember the White River National Forest and BLM in this area are in Stage 1 fire restrictions.”

Maps of the current area closure as well as the fire perimeter are available on InciWeb: Check or for the latest fire restriction information.

Smoke continues on Grizzly Creek Fire