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City of Durango News Flash

Posted on: June 14, 2022

US Forest Service to tighten fire restrictions for San Juan National Forest

Fire season update

Starting at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, June 15, the US Forest Service will be moving the San Juan National Forest into stage 2 fire restrictions to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires.

Stage 2 Fire restrictions prohibit the following: 

  • Igniting, building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, including fires in developed recreation sites (campgrounds and picnic areas), charcoal grills and barbecues, coal and wood burning stoves, and sheepherder’s stoves. 36 CFR § 261.52(a). 
  • Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, trailer, or building. 36 CFR § 261.52(c).
  • Blasting, welding, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame. 36 CFR § 261.52(i).
  • Operating or using any internal combustion engine without an effective and properly installed USDA- or Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)- approved spark arrestor. 36 CFR § 261.52(j).
  • Operating a chainsaw without an effective and properly installed USDA- or SAE- approved spark arrestor, a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher (with a minimum of 8 oz. capacity and rating of 2A) kept with the operator and a round point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches readily available for use. 36 CFR § 261.52(h).
  • Using an explosive. This includes but is not limited to fuses, blasting caps, fireworks, rockets, exploding targets, tracers, and incendiary ammunition. 36 CFR § 261.52(b).
  • Possessing or using a motor vehicle off established roads, motorized trails or established parking areas, except when parking in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the vehicle. 36 CFR § 261.56.

Visitors of the San Juan National Forest will still be able to stoves, grills, and lanterns that are fueled by propane or other liquid petroleum gases that meet the manufacturer’s safety specifications 

It’s important to note that the City of Durango has citywide fire smoking and fire restrictions currently in place that prohibit the use of explosive materials of any kind, including but not limited to, fireworks, blasting caps, or any incendiary device which many result in the ignition of flammable material. 

 Smoking will be restricted in any areas that are not an enclosed building or vehicle, or while stopped in an area that is at least 3 feet in diameter from any flammable vegetation.  

For information on fire restrictions in the City of Durango, La Plata County, San Juan National Forest, Bureau of Land Management, and the Southern Ute Reservation visit the Durango Fire Protection District website. 

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