Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Firefighters Pleased to Announce No July 4 Fire Restrictions

Feds, Sheriff and Fire Chiefs Still Urge Caution

Mesa County, Colo. —  Federal fire officials from the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit in tandem with local firefighting entities encourage the public to be cautious with fire, but will not initiate fire restrictions for the July 4 holiday. 

For the first time in years, fuel conditions are favorable enough to avoid fire restrictions during the popular holiday on public lands that UCR provides fire management, and consistently across Mesa County, says Mesa County Emergency Manager Andy Martsolf.

“We’ve had to institute fire restrictions in the past years to reduce wildland fire danger to the public,” said Chris Farinetti, UCR fire management officer. “The public has remained responsible with fire restrictions in the past years and we’re pleased that we will not be required to pose restrictions this July 4. We understand how important campfires and other responsible use of fire are to the public especially during the July 4 holiday and we’re glad conditions are such that restrictions aren’t needed.”

Moisture levels in large fuels are much higher than in previous years providing positive wildland fire outlooks. Fire officials caution that fine fuels, such as grass, have already dried and cured for the season. Fine fuels remain available for burning, so officials do caution they could easily catch and and spread wildfire quickly.

“People using fireworks should avoid fine fuels and seek private property with plenty of protections from quick ignitions on fuels ready to burn,” said Farinetti. “At no time should anyone be using fireworks on land managed by the federal government.”

  • The use of fireworks on federal land is illegal.  
  • No one under the age of 16-years-old, can purchase or possess fireworks.
  • Any devices or components that, when used or ignited, project or disburse any metal, glass, or brittle plastic fragments are illegal. Cherry bombs, roman candles, firecrackers, bottle rockets, shells and rockets, M-80s and M-100s, and helicopters are all examples of illegal fireworks.
  • A good rule of thumb: anything that explodes or leaves the ground is most likely illegal in Colorado.
  • Any person who violates the laws pertaining to the sale, possession, and use of fireworks commits a class 3 misdemeanor and faces up to $750 in fines, six months in prison, or both.
  • Okay fireworks include: Cylindrical or cone fountains, wheels and ground spinners, illuminating torches and colored fire, dipped sticks and sparklers, toy propellant or toy smoke devices, trick noise makers and snake or glow worms are all permissible.
“The Mesa County Fire Chief’s Association wishes everyone a happy Independence Day and reminds everyone to celebrate safely,” Palisade Fire Chief Richard Rupp, President of the Fire Chief’s Association, said.

Community Resources/Non-Emergency—
  • BLM Field Office, Grand Junction: (970) 244-3000
  • US Forest Service/White River National Forest: (970) 945-2521
  • Colorado National Monument: (970) 858-3617
  • Grand Junction Fire Department: (970) 244-1400
  • Lower Valley Fire Department: (970) 858-3133
  • Palisade Fire Department: (970) 464-5602
  • Plateau Valley Fire Department: (970) 487-3762
  • Glade Park Fire Department: (970) 243-8037
  • Mesa County Sheriff’s Office/Office of Emergency Management: (970) 244-1763
    • Sheriff’s Office Fire Marshal: (970) 244-3973