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 www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver.

WRNF: Forest officials stress caution as fire danger remains high