Montrose, COLO.—The unincorporated area of the West End of Montrose County will begin stage 1 fire restrictions beginning Monday, July 24. High temperatures and worsening dry conditions were the deciding factors in this precautionary measure. Restrictions will take effect at 12:01am on Monday, July 24. 

“This year’s significant snow pack resulted in tall cheatgrass that is extremely flammable and spreads rapidly when ignited,” said Sheriff Lillard. “I want to thank the public for their help in preventing wildfire danger during these fire restrictions. Your cooperation is essential in keeping our community safe. I know that these restrictions can be inconvenient, but they are necessary to protect our homes and property. Thank you for your understanding and for doing your part to prevent wildfires.”

The restrictions apply to the unincorporated county area in the West End ONLY and do not include the any property the east side of the Uncompahgre Plateau. 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 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. 

What is allowed:

  • Fires in permanent fire pits, fire rings in private residences, or within developed recreational sites such as a campground or picnic area
  • Fire features chimineas, and tiki torches at private residences supervised by a responsible adult.
  • Fires contained within liquid fuel or gas fueled stoves, lanterns or heated devices.
  • Target shooting in a safe manner is permitted.

What is not allowed:

  • All personal fireworks are prohibited.
  • Any fire NOT within a permanently constructed fire pit, ring or grate on public or private land.
  • Smoking outdoors in an area that is not cleared of all combustible materials.
  • Welding or operating acetylene or other torches with open flame except in cleared areas of at least 10 ft in diameter and in possession of a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher.
  • Operating or using any internal combustion engine such as chainsaws, without a spark-arresting device properly installed, maintained, and in effective working order.
  • Agricultural burning is not allowed.
  • Target shooting with explosive targets is not permitted.
A graphic showing stage 1 fire restrictions.