With the start of June also came the start of fire season. June 1st at 10:00 am, a fire north of Durango was reported. Since then it has been named the 416 Fire and has consumed 5,000 acres with 10% containment as of Thursday June 7th. The air quality throughout town has decreased due to the thick smoke that settles overnight, it is recommended to stay inside during these times and close the windows to your home to avoid over exposure. As of June 7th a Type I federal firefighting team will take over command of the fire, this team is called in for a variety of reasons such as size, need for additional resources and threat to structures.
It's really tough to wake up every morning to desne smoke, thinking about the burning land, the animals, worried home owners, and the air quality. It's a reality about living in the west. Thanksfully we don't have earthquakes and hurricanes and other disasters. The GOOD news about this is that we were prepared with tankers and crews, we have amazing community support and to date we have not lost any structures. Also, as we've experienced in the past with the Missionary Ridge fire.... We Are Resilient!
With a dry summer ahead of us with potential of more wildfires in the area here is what you need to know in order to prevent future fires: This is from the San Juan National Forest website.
STAGE 2 FIRE RESTRICTIONS
Beginning June 1, 2018, Stage 2 Fire Restrictions will be in effect on all National Forest System lands within the San Juan National Forest, including Wilderness. Fire restrictions are designed to protect people, property and the area's natural resources, and are in response to the exceptional drought rating in Southwest Colorado, increased fire activity throughout the area, and continuing hot dry weather forecasts.
Stage 2 Fire Restrictions on the San Juan National Forest means that the following are
- Building, maintaining, attending or using an OPEN FLAME, including fire, campfire, stove fire, charcoal grills and barbecues, coal and wood burning stoves, and devices (stoves, grills or lanterns) using liquid fuel such as white gas or kerosene. This prohibition applies to the entire San Juan National Forest, including Wilderness and developed camping and picnic grounds.
Except: Devices (stoves, grills or lanterns) using pressurized gas canisters (isobutene or propane) that include shut-off valves, or within an enclosed vehicle, trailer, or building.
Except: Within an enclosed vehicle, trailer or building.
WELDING or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.
Operating or using any INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE (e.g. chainsaw, generator, ATV) without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order meeting USDA Forest Service or SAE approval.
Operating a CHAINSAW without an approved spark arresting device, a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher (8 oz. capacity by weight or larger and kept with the operator) and a round point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches readily available for use, or outside of the “Hoot Owl” restricted hours of 5am – 1pm.
Using an EXPLOSIVE. This includes but is not limited to fuses or blasting caps, fireworks, rockets, exploding targets, and tracers or incendiary ammunition.
Discharging a FIREARM, air rifle, or gas gun
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.
Federal, state, and local officers and persons with a valid Forest Service permit or contract may be exempt from these prohibitions.