Montrose, COLO.—Sheriff Gene Lillard is lifting fire restrictions effective Thursday, July 30 at 12:01 a.m. The decision was made alongside partner agencies including federal lands, weather partners, and surrounding counties in order to avoid confusion when recreating in the region. This affects land within unincorporated Montrose County, and now allows residents to burn as necessary.
The decision was based on fuel moisture measurements in vegetation, predicated weather, and the amount of current fire activity in the county. Residents and visitors are encouraged to use caution when burning.
“Even though fire restrictions have been lifted, I am urging community members to use caution when burning. Please make sure to have water and shovels readily available when burning and always call dispatch at 970-249-9110 before burning. Last but not least, I would like to thank the public for their assistance the past several weeks during restrictions.” said Sheriff Lillard.
Please know before you go and visit westslopefireinfo.com for information on restrictions in surrounding areas and the latest fire-related information. To learn more about campfire safety, please visit www.smokeybear.com.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 8, 2020
Contact: Dr. Thomas M. Canfield, MD, Montrose County Coroner
Office: Montrose County Coroner’s Office of Medical Investigation, (970) 252-4524
Early in the morning of Wednesday, July 1, 2020 a call was received by Western Colorado Regional Dispatch stating there were two deaths at a local residence. Montrose Fire Protection District EMS and the Montrose Police Department responded and discovered the two decedents. The decedents were Thomas M. Courser, a 73 year old male and his son Andrew T. Courser, a 34 year old male both of Montrose. Cause and manner of death are pending autopsy results and toxicology analysis. The cases are under investigation by the Montrose Police Department and the Montrose County Coroner’s Office of Medical Investigation.
Thomas M. Canfield MD, Coroner
This concludes this press release in its entirety. No additional information is available at this time.
Montrose, COLO.—Due to the extremely dry conditions and the additional dry weather that is projected for the area, Sheriff Gene Lillard has recommended Stage 1 Fire Restrictions beginning Thursday, July 2nd. Moisture levels are dropping daily, federal land partners have reported several unattended several campfires, and are already at critical levels in lower elevations with wind, lightning storms, and potential for storms at high elevations. Today, the Board of County Commissioners passed Resolution 31-2020 that authorizes the sheriff, the fire warden for the county, to implement and lift fire restrictions as necessary through the summer months.
“Unfortunately we have reached a point where enacting stage 1 restrictions is necessary to reduce the risk of wildfire,” said Sheriff Gene Lillard. “We have been working closely with our federal land partners and adjoining counties constantly monitoring conditions and watching available resources. We appreciate the public’s assistance in working to mitigate wildfire.”
The restrictions apply to the unincorporated county area and do not include the City of Montrose, Town of Olathe, Town of Naturita, and Town of Nucla. The stage 1 fire restrictions do not allow open burning of any kind to include agricultural burning, open campfires, and fireworks. Smoking cigarettes outdoors is not allowed, unless in an enclosed vehicle or building or in a developed recreation site. Campfires in a pre-approved campground, State Park/KOA, or enclosed fire pits are permitted. As a reminder, fireworks on publicly managed lands are prohibited.
Please be advised that penalties for violating the fire ban include: Class-2 petty offense with fines ranging from $100 to $500 depending on the number of offenses. If a fire causes damage to another individual’s property, additional criminal charges may apply. These fire restrictions will remain in effect until further notice.
Congratulations to K-9 Jocko and Deputy Savage on achieving their Colorado Police Canine Association narcotics certification! #dogsonduty