Montrose, COLO.—An increase in moisture levels and decrease in overall threat of wildfire prompted Sheriff Rick Dunlap to downgrade the county from Stage 2 to Stage 1 restrictions effective at noon on July 16th.  Additional moisture is predicted this week as well.  Earlier this summer, the Board of County Commissioners passed Resolution 2018-30 that authorizes the Sheriff, the fire warden for the county, to implement and lift fire restrictions as necessary through the summer months.

“The public has been very supportive throughout our active fire season thus far and I would like to thank them for their commitment to safety ,” said Sheriff Dunlap.  “Given the current conditions, I think it is wise to move back to Stage 1 Restrictions–which still limits certain activities.”

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.

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.