Stage 1 Fire Restrictions for Garfield County

GLENWOOD SPRINGS—Stage 1 fire restrictions go into effect at the stroke of midnight in Garfield County.  Sheriff Lou Vallario made the call after consulting with department heads throughout the valley including the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service and the seven fire districts in Garfield County from De Beque to Carbondale. Last week’s controlled burn that quickly turned into a wildfire between New Castle and Silt brought to light the fact that there aren’t enough firefighters and emergency personnel available to respond to COVID-19 calls and non-essential burns.  First responders  have been stretched to the limit across the valley as the pandemic has spread.  County officials say another benefit of  fire restrictions is keeping the air clean to help those who may be suffering from respiratory issues exacerbated by COVID-19. Under Stage 1 fire restrictions, all burn permits are canceled until further notice.  Campfires are only allowed within designated fire grates in developed areas. Smoking is only allowed in a designated area, an enclosed vehicle or a building and explosive materials are outlawed.