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Fire restrictions in place

Contact: Jessie Mosher, Public Information Officer, 970-376-7078

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On of March 29, 2012, Eagle County Sheriff Joe Hoy, in a cooperative effort with Local Fire Authorities, placed restrictions on open burning in Eagle County. The forecasted arrival of meaningful moisture to the area has prompted the Sheriff to allow limited open burning for agricultural purposes until otherwise notified.

Agricultural burning has been practiced in this area for many years. Farmers and ranchers have found burning to be the most effective method of ridding irrigation ditches and ditch banks of noxious weeds and dead grass, which tend to collect and effectively restrict the flow of water much below the carrying capacity of the ditch.

Agricultural burning is defined by the State of Colorado as: The burning of cover vegetation for the purpose of preparing the soil for crop production, weed control, maintenance of water conveyance structures related to agricultural operations, and other agricultural cultivation purposes.

Limited open burning for the purposes described above will again be allowed starting Monday, April 16, at 7 a.m, on a case-by-case basis under the following conditions:

  • The property owner must obtain an Open Burning Permit from Eagle County and the appropriate Fire Protection District.
  • Fire Protection District or Eagle County personnel must inspect the burn site to determine proximity to surrounding structures and other vegetative fuels, and may deny approval of open burning for reasons related to the health and safety of adjacent property owners.
  • The property owner must communicate with the fire district and local dispatch center each day before initiating any open burning, and agrees to monitor the weather forecast for expected conditions on the day of burning, and for several days afterwards.
  • At this time all previously issued open burn permits are suspended until they’ve been reapproved by the appropriate fire protection district and Eagle County.

The Fire Ban allows:

  • Fire contained within Liquid or gas fuel stoves
  • Campfires in USFS improved/maintained campgrounds that are currently open to the public
  • Charcoal grill fires on private lands

The Fire Ban Restricts:

  • All other open fires
  • The burning of solid fuels outside approved areas
  • Using explosive material: (ie: fireworks, blasting caps or any incendiary device which may result in the ignition of flammable material.)

Anyone found to be in violation of the fire restrictions may be convicted of a Class 2 Petty Offense and may be subject to a $500 fine. Higher fines may be imposed for subsequent offenses.

For more information, contact your local fire authority:

Basalt and Rural Fire Protection District   970-704-0675
Eagle River Fire Protection District    970-748-9665
Greater Eagle Fire Protection District    970-328-7244
Gypsum Fire Protection District    970-524-7101
Rock Creek Volunteer Fire Department    970-653-4497 
Vail Fire and Emergency Services    970-479-2250