Major rockslide closes Glenwood Canyon

I-70 open both directions to traffic in Glenwood Canyon

5.21.19 at 11:50 a.m. – The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is reporting that Interstate 70 is open to traffic in both directions in Glenwood Canyon. The westbound lane is limited to a single lane.

5.21.19 at 10:47 a.m. – Garfield County Emergency Communications Authority announced that one eastbound lane of Interstate 70 at mile marker 116 is now open to traffic.

5.21.19 at 7:41 a.m. – Garfield County Emergency Communications Authority alerted the community that I-70 is closed eastbound at mile marker 116 (Glenwood) and westbound at mile marker 131 (Dotsero) for a major rock slide in Glenwood Canyon.

Colorado Department of Transportation reports that there is no estimated time of reopening and motorists should use an alternate route.

Vail Pass is also closed due to safety concerns, with no estimated time of reopening.

Major rockslide closes Glenwood Canyon

Multiple mountain highway closures – winter weather warning

Update: 4:39 pm – CLOSED – I-70 both directions between Frisco and Vail due to safety concerns. The road will likely remain closed into the evening.
US 40 Berthoud Pass is open.
CO 91 Fremont Pass and US 6 Loveland Pass remain closed.

US 550 Red Mountain Pass is closed until further notice, due to ongoing avalanche control work and snow clean up. Expected to remain closed through the entire weekend. Avalanche control ongoing on US 550 Coal Bank and Molas Passes with intermittent delays.

 

1:32 pmI-70 remains closed between Frisco-Vail westbound and Vail-Copper eastbound. Pending snow removal on Vail Pass, it’s likely to remain closed until early evening. I-70 is open eastbound and westbound between Frisco and Denver.

US 550 Red Mountain Pass is closed until further notice, due to avalanche control work and snow clean up. Expected to remain closed through the entire weekend. Avalanche control ongoing on US 550 Coal Bank and Molas Passes with intermittent delays.

CO 91, US 24 and US 6 Loveland Pass remain closed.

US 40 Berthoud Pass is open.

 

11:30 am – I-70 is closed both directions over Vail Pass between Vail – Copper Mountain during avalanche cleanup work (all eastbound CMV must stage at Dotsero, Exit 133.)

I-70 closed between Silverthorne – US 40 Empire Jct due to avalanche work & concerns.

US 24 between I-70 – Leadville & Hwy 91 between Leadville – Copper Mountain area closed due to adverse condtions.

US 6 Loveland Pass closed due to adverse conditions.

No estimated time for reopening for any of these highways, but are expected to remain closed into the mid-late afternoon. Mountain travel throughout these areas is STRONGLY DISCOURAGED at this time.

National Weather Service has issued winter weather warnings and winter weather advisories for most mountain areas today through 5 pm today. All mountain areas, including the I-70 Mountain Corridor are expecting heavy snow at times with accumulations 10-24 inches possible. Winds gusting up to 55 mph. Expect traffic delays, chain and traction laws. Avalanche control work and delays possible at any time on any Colorado mountain roadway without notice. 

Multiple mountain highway closures – winter weather warning

Rockslide on Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon

Feb. 5, 9:00 p.m. – UPDATE: One lane westbound is open, and I-70 eastbound is open. Please take it slow through the cone zone!

Feb. 5, 6:28 p.m. – UPDATE:
I-70 eastbound is now open through Glenwood Canyon; I-70 westbound remains closed.

Feb. 5, 5:30 p.m. – UPDATE: Rockfall scaling has completed for the night, and crews will open eastbound I-70 within the hour.

We are still several hours to a westbound opening later tonight, after the crane breaks down the current operation and moves, in order to relocate one of the larger boulders. Once open, westbound will be in a one lane configuration. Please continue to look for updates at www.COTRIP.org

This was the scene from earlier today on I-70 in Glenwood Canyon.

Glenwood Canyon rockslide
Photo courtesy of Aerial Applications Colorado

Thank you for your patience today, as our teams worked to get this important safety mission accomplished.

Feb. 5, 3:00 p.m. – CDOT continues to assess damage after rockslide in Glenwood Canyon early this morning

GARFIELD/EAGLE COUNTY – Eastbound lanes of I-70, following this morning’s rockfall, are currently open but will shut down again in preparation for the staging of a crane for clean up and rockfall mitigation to begin this afternoon. Eastbound will be open again when crane is in place and initial mitigation is complete. CDOT’s hope will be to have one lane westbound open by tonight. There is no estimate on a time for a full reopening of I-70 and intermittent closures may occur as rockfall mitigation continues.

CDOT crews have been on scene since 1:00 a.m. today after a rockslide in Glenwood Canyon. The rockslide occurred at mile point 120.5 about a half a mile west of the Grizzly Creek rest area.  Currently, CDOT maintenance, geohazard and specialized teams are working on scene.

TRAFFIC IMPACTS: Closure points for the incident are eastbound Exit 116/Main Glenwood Springs and westbound at Exit 133/Dotsero. Commercial Vehicle truck parking as been implemented at the Dotsero location.

Updates will continue to be posted on CDOT’s traveler information site at www.COTRIP.org

Feb. 5, 12:19 p.m. – I-70 closed westbound in Glenwood Canyon, between mile markers 116 and 133, due to rock slide. Extended closure expectedEastbound is currently open, but additional closures are likely during rock scaling operations.

ALTERNATE ROUTES: Front Range motorists heading westbound: US 40 north (Steamboat Springs) west on US 40 (Craig) south to CO 13 south to I-70.

Summit County/westbound motorists: CO 9 North to US 40 to Steamboat Springs, west on US 40 and south on CO 13 to I-70.

Eagle County/westbound motorists: CO 131 North to US 40 to Steamboat then west to CO 13 and south to I-70. This detour may add up to 3 hours to your trip.

 

Feb. 5, 11:45 a.m. – Eastbound I-70 in Glenwood Canyon reopened

EXTENDED CLOSURE – I-70 closed westbound in Glenwood Canyon between mile marker 116 and 133 due to rock slide.

Eastbound is currently open, but additional closures are likely during rock scaling operations.

Updates will continue to be posted on CDOT’s traveler information site at http://www.COTRIP.org

 

Feb. 5, 2019 – CDOT assessing damage after rockslide in Glenwood Canyon early this morning

GARFIELD/EAGLE COUNTY – Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) crews have been on scene since 1:00 a.m. today after reports of a rockslide in Glenwood Canyon. For safety, crews will wait until daybreak to further evaluate the size of the rockslide and any damage to the roadway.

CDOT’s geohazards team has also mobilized to the scene. The rockslide occurred at mile point 120.5 about a half a mile west of the Grizzly Creek rest area. Both directions of I-70 are currently closed.

TRAFFIC IMPACTS:
Closure points for the incident are eastbound Exit 116/Main Glenwood Springs and westbound at Exit 133/Dotsero. Commercial Vehicle truck parking as been implemented at the Dotsero location. Updates will continue to be posted on CDOT’s traveler information site at http://www.COTRIP.org.

ALTERNATE ROUTES:
Front Range motorists heading westbound:
US 40 north (Steamboat Springs) west on US 40 (Craig) south to CO 13 (Rifle)
Summit County/westbound motorists:
CO 9 (Silverthorne) to US 40 (Steamboat Springs) west on US 40 (Craig) south to CO 13 (Rifle)
Eagle County/westbound motorists:
The north alternate route for westbound motorists is north on CO 131 at Wolcott to
Steamboat Springs, west on US 40 to Craig, then south on CO 13 to Rifle and back to I-70.

This is a 203-mile alternate route that will take about three hours and 50 minutes to travel. This detour adds 146 miles and about three hours to a regular trip from Wolcott to Rifle on I-70, which is 67 miles or about 45 minutes.
The south alternate route uses US 50. Access to US 50 is available via Grand Junction for eastbound drivers and for westbound drivers by way of US 24/285 through the Salida area from the Front Range.
Please always check www.COTRIP.org for roadway conditions before heading out.
Cottonwood Pass and Independence Pass are both closed and not available as alternate routes. Fryingpan Road and Hagerman Pass are not alternate routes.

TRAFFIC THROUGH THE CANYON – The average daily traffic for Glenwood Canyon is around 300 vehicles per hour. Traffic volumes typically drop off significantly after 11:00 p.m. to less
than 100 vehicles per hour.

Rockslide on Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon

I-70 westbound closure; law enforcement activity

December 5, 2018 – UPDATE: Person Charged for Resulting I-70 Closure on Tuesday

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO. – Following a 3 1/2-hour closure of I-70 and US 6 between exits 81 and 87, Justin Lopez Madrid (DOB: 03/13/1980), was arrested and transported to the Garfield County Jail.

Mr. Madrid has been charged with:

Assault in the second degree (agg police official-strongarm) (felony)
Criminal Attempt 1st Degree Murder – willful – Weapon
Resisting arrest (misdemeanor)
Obstructing a peace officer, firefighter, emergency medical services etc (misdemeanor)
Reckless endangerment (misdemeanor)
Tampering with physical evidence (felony)
Violation of a restraining order (misdemeanor)

Update 3:50 p.m.: I-70 and US 6 Closed for 3 ½ Hours Over Public Safety Concerns

December 4, 2018 – GARFIELD COUNTY, CO. – I-70 and US Highway 6 was closed today between exit 87 (West Rifle Exit) and the Rulison exit from approximately 11:00 AM until 2:30 PM.

Around 11:00 AM Garfield County Deputies and CSP responded to a call of a possible stabbing incident in the vicinity of the West Rifle Exit along I-70. Further investigation at the scene resulted in the discovery that one individual had fled to the nearby hillside and had positioned himself in a rocky area approximately 200 yards from the Interstate and the paralleling US Highway 6.

Initial reports also indicated that the individual might have a knife wound. It was unclear as to whether or not he had a firearm. Due to the proximity of the suspect to the Interstate and the potential for a catastrophic event should there be an exchange of gunfire it was decided early on; the closure of I-70 as well as US 6 was in the best interest of public safety.

Early attempts to verbally negotiate with the suspect and ask him to surrender were unsuccessful. In the end the Garfield County All Hazards Response Team was deployed to bring the individual down from the hillside. No shots were fired and by 2:30 the suspect was in custody; eastbound I-70 as well as US Highway 6 was reopened.

Westbound I-70 was opened later once operational equipment including law enforcement vehicles, ambulances and St Mary’s Care Flight were cleared. Fortunately no injuries were received by law enforcement officers or the suspect during the operations that ultimately removed him from the hillside and led to his arrest.

The investigation as to what led to the initial flight to the hillside by the suspect as well as other charges that may be filed are part of an ongoing, active investigation.
107 Eighth Street, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 970-945-0453 970-945-6430 (fax) http://www.garcosheriff.com

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank all the first responders and law enforcement including Colorado State Patrol, Rifle Police Department, Parachute Police Department, the Garfield County All Hazards Response Team, the Crisis Negotiation Team, CRFR, Grand Valley Fire, CDOT, St. Mary’s Care Flight, the travelers of the I-70 Corridor and the citizens of Garfield County who worked together and cooperated to bring this incident to a safe conclusion.

No additional information will be released.

GARFIELD COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE update as of 2:30 p.m. eastbound I-70 is open and westbound I-70 opened at 3 p.m.

GARFIELD COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE update as of 2:41 pm Westbound I-70 will reopen in 20-30 minutes.

GARFIELD COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE update as of 2:23 p.m.: Suspect in custody. I-70 Eastbound will open momentarily.

GARFIELD COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE update as of 12:31 p.m.: We have a suspect on the hillside in the area. He is possibly armed; we are trying to talk him down.

CDOT: I-70 eastbound/westbound: full closure between Exit 75 – Parachute and exit 87 – US 6; Rifle. I-70 is closed in both directions in Rifle from mile marker 81 to mile marker 87 due to police activity. US 6 in this location is also closed.

CDOT has just implemented Commercial Vehicle (CMV) truck parking at exit 133 (Dotsero) westbound, and eastbound at exit 62 in DeBeque.

I-70 westbound closure; law enforcement activity

Firefighters responding to wildfire north of Sweetwater Lake

ucr_logo_2017

Update: Oct. 21, 11:54 a.m. – Upper Colorado River Fire Management Unit – Johnny Meyers Fire 90% contained

Fire: Johnny Meyers Fire Containment: 90%
Acres: 88 Start Date: Oct. 18, 2018
Cause: Under Investigation Location: 2 miles north/northwest of Sweetwater Lake, 14 miles northwest of Dotsero
Total Personnel: 16 Fuels/Topography: grass, mountain shrub and sagebrush, some aspen, Pinyon juniper

 Update: There was no new growth on the Johnny Meyers Fire and the fire is now 90% contained. Some resources demobilized last night and the remaining firefighters will continue to secure, patrol and mop-up containment lines. Firefighters and one helicopter will also work to extinguish hot spots using water bucket drops when needed. Some smoldering and smoke still exists within the perimeter of the fire and wisps of smoke may be visible until the fire area receives rain or snow.

Closures: No closures are in place, the public is asked to avoid the area for public and firefighter safety as suppression operations are ongoing.

Weather: Today’s weather will be 45 degrees and partly cloudy.

No Fly Zone: Aerial operations are ongoing. Please refrain from flying drones in the area. Remember, if you fly, we can’t.

October 20 – 1:50 p.m.; Upper Colorado Fire Management Unit – Johnny Meyers Fire is now 75% contained

Fire: Johnny Meyers Fire Containment: 75%
Acres: 88 Start Date: Oct. 18, 2018
Cause: Under Investigation Location: 2 miles north/northwest of Sweetwater Lake, 14 miles northwest of Dotsero
Total Personnel: 55 Fuels/Topography: grass, mountain shrub and sagebrush, some aspen, Pinyon juniper

 Update: Good progress continues to be made on the Johnny Meyers Fire; the fire has not grown in size since the initial start date on Oct. 18. Today, crews will focus on securing, patrolling and mopping up containment lines built around the north, west and south edges of the fire. Some smoldering hot spots remain within the perimeter of the fire and firefighters are seeking out and extinguishing the hot spots when it is safe to do so.

On the eastern perimeter, the fire continues to burn and smolder in a small aspen patch of dead and downed trees located on steep terrain. Crews will work to build containment line on this eastern edge while working in coordination with a helicopter to drop water and cool hot spots.

“Smoke may be visible in the coming days from the hot spots smoldering within the perimeter of the fire,” said Rick Truex, Acting District Ranger. “Likely, it will take another wave of precipitation to cool off the interior and smoldering aspen patch. We continue to ask the public to avoid the area for their safety while crews work.”

The UCR and White River National Forest would like to extend a thank you to the following responders and partners for their support during the Johnny Meyers Fire response: Gypsum Fire Protection District, Vail Fire, Vail Public Safety Communication Center, Summit Fire and EMS, and Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District.

Closures: No evacuations or closures are in place, however the public is asked to avoid the area for public and firefighter safety as suppression operations are ongoing.

Weather: Today’s weather is warm, sunny and breezy.

Smoke: Some smoke may be visible from the Colorado River Road.

No Fly Zone: Aerial operations are ongoing. Please refrain from flying drones in the area. Remember, if you fly, we can’t.


Photos courtesy of Gypsum Fire Protection District/Chelsey Johnson

Oct. 19 – 3:22 p.m.; Upper Colorado River Fire Management Unit – Firefighters continue suppression efforts on Johnny Meyers Fire; fire is now 40% contained

Fire: Johnny Meyers Fire Containment: 40%
Acres: 88 Start Date: Oct. 18, 2018
Cause: Under Investigation Location: 2 miles north/northwest of Sweetwater Lake, 14 miles northwest of Dotsero
Total Personnel: 55 Fuels/Topography: grass, mountain shrub and sagebrush, Pinyon juniper


Photos courtesy of Gypsum Fire Protection District/Chelsey Johnson

Update: More firefighters arrived overnight and this morning to continue suppression efforts on the Johnny Meyers Fire which is burning approximately 2 miles north of Sweetwater Lake on the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District. Today, two helicopters are on scene conducting water bucket drops to cool hot spots while crews build direct containment line on the perimeter of the fire. Crews are also working to extinguish hot spots within the perimeter of the fire where it is safe to do so. The eastern edge of the fire remains moderately active, burning in some sage and aspen. The fire did not grow overnight, the increase in acreage is due to more accurate mapping.

“We are encouraged by the increase in containment on this fire,” stated Rick Truex, acting District Ranger. “Crews continue to diligently work to suppress this fire. In the meantime, we can’t emphasize enough how important it is for hunters and the public to avoid this area as we have multiple hand crews, support staff and aircraft working there at this time and firefighter and public safety is our top priority.”

Closures: No evacuations or closures are in place at this time, however the public is asked to avoid the area for public and firefighter safety as suppression operations are ongoing.

Weather: Today’s weather is 40 degrees and breezy, similar conditions are expected tomorrow.

Smoke: Some smoke may be visible from the Colorado River Road.

No Fly Zone: Aerial operations are ongoing. Please refrain from flying drones in the area. Remember, if you fly, we can’t.

 

Oct. 18; 5:32 p.m.; Upper Colorado River Fire Management Unit – Firefighters responding to wildfire north of Sweetwater Lake

Fire: Johnny Myers Fire Containment: 0%
Acres: 81 Start Date: Oct. 18, 2018
Cause: Unknown Location: 2 miles north/northwest of Sweetwater Lake, 14 miles northwest of Dotsero
Total Personnel: 13 Fuels/Topography: grass, mountain shrub and sagebrush, Pinyon juniper

Update: Engines, firefighters and a helicopter are responding to an active wildfire burning north of Sweetwater Lake on the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District in Garfield County. The Johnny Myers Fire was called in late in the morning on Oct. 18. Three engines and a helicopter are on scene and actively responding. The helicopter is conducting water bucket drops to slow and check fire spread while firefighters on the ground are working to establish an anchor point to begin perimeter control. Additional crews are expected to arrive tomorrow.

“Fuel conditions are extremely variable across the District,” said Rick Truex, acting Eagle-Holy Cross District Ranger. “While snow is visible at high elevations, there is still potential for fire at lower elevations. We are asking the public and hunters to avoid the area while firefighters work to suppress this fire.”

Closures: No evacuations or closures are in place at this time, however public is asked to avoid the area.

Smoke: Smoke may be visible from the Colorado River Road.

No Fly Zone: Aerial operations are ongoing. Please refrain from flying drones in the area. Remember, if you fly, we can’t.

Firefighters responding to wildfire north of Sweetwater Lake

Stage 1 fire restrictions

Garfield County Sheriff's Office logo|

Oct. 9, 1:14 p.m. – Garfield County Sheriff’s Office post: Fire restrictions lifted in  Garfield County

Garfield County, CO. – Effective immediately, the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office in cooperation with the six Fire Districts in Garfield County, (Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District, the Glenwood Springs Fire Department, Colorado River Fire Rescue, Grand Valley Fire, Gypsum Fire and the De Beque and Lower Valley Fire) has lifted all fire restrictions on unincorporated private and state lands within Garfield County.

Additionally the City of Rifle (reflecting County restrictions), the White River National Forest and BLM lands managed by Colorado River Valley Field Office (CRVFO) in Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin counties have lifted their fire restrictions. Recent precipitation and cooler temperatures at all elevations in Garfield County have significantly reduced the danger of wildfires.

People are reminded that a burn permit is required before any fire can be ignited, even if you’re only burning a small pile of leaves, a slash pile or if you’re conducting an agricultural burn. Please contact your local fire department for information on where and when to burn, each jurisdiction will make the decision that is right for their area based on current local conditions as well as forecasted weather conditions.

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the people of Garfield County for their cooperation in keeping everyone safe this fire season as well as the outpouring of support that was given to law enforcement officers and all first responders.

Sept. 20, 10:58 a.m. – Garfield County Sheriff’s Office post: Stage 1 fire restriction reinstated in Garfield County

Due to continued dry conditions and the minimal amount of rainfall experienced in September, Garfield County will again implement Stage 1 fire restrictions on Friday, September 21, 2018, at 12:01 a.m. This will apply to all unincorporated private and state lands within Garfield County. Joining in the restrictions will be the towns of Silt, Carbondale, New Castle and Rifle.

The city of Glenwood Springs plans to return to Stage 1 restrictions effective 12:01 a.m., Saturday, September 22, 2018.

These restrictions will remain in place until further notice.

Please check with other municipalities in Garfield County, the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service for any restrictions that may be applicable within their jurisdictions.

Fire managers base decisions about fire restrictions on specific moisture measurements in vegetation and other risk factors. With a lower than normal snowpack this past winter; recent hot and dry weather have created high fire danger at elevations below about 9,000 feet.

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office will be enforcing temporary restrictions of:

• Campfires: allowed within designated fire grates in developed campgrounds (i.e. a metal, in-ground containment structure – (fire pans and rock campfire rings are not acceptable)

• No fires of any type including charcoal outside of developed areas (Note backyard charcoal grills are permissible under Stage 1 restrictions.)

• No smoking except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or in a barren area, free of vegetation

• No use of explosive materials, including explosive targets or tracer rounds/exploding bullets etc.

• The discharge of weapons with normal ammunition, used for hunting and target practice is permissible

• No welding or operation of acetylene or other similar torch with open flame or any spark emitting operation, (cutting, grinding etc.) except in an area that has been cleared of vegetation

• No operation of any internal combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed and in working order

Those found responsible for starting wildfires will face restitution costs of suppressing the fire.

Sept. 20 – press releases:
Stage 1 fire restrictions reinstated in Garfield County, New Castle,
Rifle, Silt-|

Carbondale reinstates stage 1 fire restrictions-|

Glenwood Springs reinstates stage 1 fire restrictions-|

White River National Forest and BLM Colorado River Valley reinstate stage 1 fire restrictions-

Sept. 6, 11:55 a.m. – Garfield County Sheriff’s Office post: Fire Restrictions Lifted in Garfield County

NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO. – Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, in cooperation with the six fire districts in Garfield County, Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District, the Glenwood Springs Fire Department, Colorado River Fire Rescue, Grand Valley Fire, Gypsum Fire and the De Beque and Lower Valley Fire, will lift all fire restrictions on unincorporated private and state lands within Garfield County on Friday, September 7, 2018, at 12:01 a.m.

Additionally, the City of Rifle (reflecting County restrictions), the White River National Forest and BLM lands managed by Colorado River Valley Field Office (CRVFO) in Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin counties will lift their fire restrictions at the same time.

This collaborative effort by all parties involved acknowledges the public’s efforts to recreate responsibly while maintaining a level of safety for everyone. The joint movement to lift fire restrictions will serve to reduce confusion of where and what is allowed throughout Garfield County.

People in Garfield County and particularly those who will be camping or hunting are reminded that while campfires are allowed, we are still experiencing extremely dry conditions. Please take extra care when starting your campfire to assure that it is in a safe location, properly banked and you have the means, readily available, to extinguish it. Remember smaller fires are better and cook stoves are much easier to prepare your food on than an open fire.

People are also reminded that this is not the time to burn your slash piles or accumulated wood debris from your summer projects. Burn permits are still required even if you are only burning a pile of leaves. Please contact your local fire department for information on where and when to burn, each jurisdiction will make the decision that is right for their area based on current local conditions and any foreseeable weather conditions.

Check with your local municipality to determine what restrictions are being enforced within  city limits.

Sept. 6, 10:30 a.m. – town of Carbondale post: Removal of fire restrictions

CARBONDALE, Colo. – After consulting with the Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District, Town Manager Jay Harrington, has decided to lift the current fire restrictions. All restrictions will lifted effective September 7, 2018, at 12 p.m.

The current weather conditions, including increased humidity and lower temperatures factored in to this decision.

For more information call 970-963-2662.

Sept. 6, 9:55 a.m. – U.S. Forest Service post: White River National Forest and BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office lift fire restrictions

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. – The White River National Forest and BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office (CRVFO) will transition out of all current fire restrictions effective at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 7, 2018.

Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire managers (UCR) base their decisions about fire restrictions on specific moisture measurements in vegetation and other risk factors such as predicted weather and the amount of current fire activity. The best available science, recent measurements, and predictive models have shown a marked improvement in conditions leading to a significant decrease in wildfire risk.

Although fire restrictions have been lifted, fire managers would like to remind visitors to continue to be attentive of their actions and surroundings especially in areas with dry vegetation or dead trees. Practice smart wildfire prevention behavior by observing the following campfire safety rules:

• Never leave a campfire unattended.
• Only use established campfire rings.
• Pick safe and proper campfire sites.
• Ensure that camp fires are completely out and cool to the touch by using the “drown, stir, and feel” method.

For more information about fire restrictions in these areas visit or to see White River National Forest information, click here.

Aug. 31, 12:10 p.m. – Town of Carbondale post: Modified fire restrictions within Carbondale town limits

CARBONDALE, Colo. – After consulting with the Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District the Town of Carbondale Manager, Jay Harrington, has decided to modify the fire restrictions for land within the Town of Carbondale.

Effective August 31, 2018 fire pits with screens to prevent sparks dispersing, charcoal and gas grills and smokers will be allowed in the Town of Carbondale. The following restrictions remain in place:

• No smoking is allowed except within enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or in a barren area free of vegetation of at least 20
feet in diameter.

• No use of explosive materials is permitted.

• No welding or operation of an acetylene or other similar torch with open flame is permitted except from an area that has been cleared of vegetation
of at least 30 feet diameter.

• No operation of any internal combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed and in working order is permitted.

• The fire chief for the Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District may permit a fire if deemed appropriate.

For more information on the fire restrictions call 970-963-2662.

Aug. 29, 1:59 p.m. – Garfield County Sheriff’s Office post: Garfield County Moves From Stage 2 to Stage 1 Fire Restrictions

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, CO – The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, in cooperation with the six fire districts in Garfield County (Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District, the Glenwood Springs Fire Department, Colorado River Fire Rescue, Grand Valley Fire, Gypsum Fire and the De Beque and Lower Valley Fire), will move from Stage 2 to Stage 1 fire restrictions on all unincorporated private and state lands within Garfield County on Friday, August 31, 2018 at 12:01 a.m.

Additionally, the city of Glenwood Springs; the city of Rifle (reflecting county restrictions); White River National Forest and Bureau of Land Management lands managed by Colorado River Valley Field Office (CRVFO) in Eagle; Garfield and Pitkin counties will reduce fire restrictions from Stage 2 to Stage 1 effective Friday, August 31, 2018 at 12:01 a.m.

It should also be noted that the BLM lands managed by the Grand Junction Field Office in western Garfield County will no longer be under any fire restrictions.

This collaborative effort by all parties involved acknowledges the public’s efforts to recreate responsibly, while maintaining a level of safety for everyone. The joint movement from Stage 2 to Stage 1 restrictions will serve to reduce confusion of where and what is allowed throughout Garfield County.

Fire managers base decisions about fire restrictions on specific moisture measurements in vegetation and other risk factors. There was a lower than normal snowpack this past winter and below normal rainfall through the spring and summer of 2018. The fire danger throughout Garfield County is still high.

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office will be enforcing temporary restrictions of:

  • Campfires: allowed within designated fire grates in developed campgrounds    (i.e. a metal, in-ground containment structure – fire pans and rock campfire rings are not acceptable).
  • No fires of any type including charcoal outside of developed areas (Note backyard charcoal grills are permissible under Stage 1 restrictions (please verify what the restrictions are for your municipality if you live within a city’s limits).
  • No smoking except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or in a barren area, free of vegetation.
  • No use of explosive materials, including explosive targets, tracer rounds/exploding bullets, etc.

-The discharge of weapons with normal ammunition, used for hunting and target practice is permissible.

-The South Canyon Gun Range will remain closed at this time.

  • No welding or operation of acetylene or other similar torch with open flame or any spark emitting operation, (cutting, grinding etc.) except in an area that has been cleared of vegetation.
  • No operation of any internal combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed and in working order.

Those found responsible for starting wildfires will face restitution costs of suppressing the fire.

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, Garfield County, the various municipalities within Garfield County, Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service would like to thank everyone in Garfield County for their cooperation in doing their part to keep us all safe during the past months, when it was necessary to enact Stage 2 Fire Restrictions. We thank you for extending that cooperation into the fall as we move to the less restrictive Stage 1 restrictions.

For more information about fire restrictions in these areas, log on to the Garfield County Sheriff’s website or the Garfield County website.

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions for Unincorporated Private & State Lands in Garfield County

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO. – On Thursday, May 31, 2018, beginning at 12:00 AM, the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, in cooperation with the six Fire Districts in Garfield County, (Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District, the Glenwood Springs Fire Department, Colorado River Fire Rescue, Grand Valley Fire, Gypsum Fire and the De Beque and Lower Valley Fire) will enact Stage 1 fire restrictions, until further notice, on all unincorporated private and state lands within Garfield County.

Fire managers base decisions about fire restrictions on specific moisture measurements in vegetation and other risk factors. With a lower than normal snowpack this past winter; recent hot and dry weather have created high fire danger at elevations below about 8,000 feet.

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office will be enforcing temporary restrictions of:

• campfires are only allowed within designated fire grates in developed campgrounds (i.e. a metal, in-ground containment structure — fire pans and rock campfire rings are not acceptable)

• no fires of any type including charcoal outside of developed areas

• no smoking except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or in a barren area free of vegetation

• no use of explosive materials, including explosive targets or bullets

• no welding or operation of an acetylene or other similar torch with open flame except from an area that has been cleared of vegetation

• no operation of any internal combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed and in working order.

Those found responsible for starting wildfires will face restitution costs of suppressing the fire.

“People in Garfield County understand what fires season is, and we typically see good compliance with fire restrictions, which helps reduce the number of human-caused fires,” said Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario.

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank everyone in Garfield County for their cooperation in doing their part to keep us all safe.

For more information about fire restrictions in these areas, log on to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Website or the Garfield County website at: www.garcosheriff.com or www.garfield-county.com

Additional information will be released as it becomes available.

______________________________________________________________________________________

PRESS RELEASE
May 30, 2018

City of Glenwood Springs to Initiate Fire Restrictions June 1

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, CO – Due to dry conditions presenting a fire hazard throughout the Glenwood Springs area, City staff have determined it necessary to put fire restrictions in place within the city limits, effective June 1. Stage 1 fire restrictions have also been implemented on all private and state land within Garfield County.

City code (110.020.180) allows for the City Council or City Manager to impose a fire restriction and/or ban if there is high fire danger.

The following restrictions shall be strictly enforced:

  • No fires/campfires/stove fires. Personal gas and charcoal grills in developed areas are allowed.
  • No smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building or in an area at least 3 feet in diameter and that is barren or cleared of vegetation.
  • No operating of any combustion engine, including chainsaws, without an approved spark arrester properly installed, a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher, and a round-point shovel readily available for use.
  • No welding or operating acetylene or other torch with an open flame except in cleared areas of at least 10 feet in diameter and in possession of a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher.
  • No use of an explosive (ex. blasting caps, exploding targets, tracer rounds, model rockets, etc.).
  • No fireworks. Toy caps, sparklers and smoke snakes shall be permitted.

Fire restrictions in the City of Glenwood Springs will be in place until further notice. Violators will receive a summons into Municipal Court. The potential maximum fine for a violation is $1,000.

Fireworks

With the 4th of July fast approaching, the City of Glenwood Springs would like to remind everyone that even when fire restrictions are not in place, the sale or use of most types of fireworks is unlawful. There are a few exceptions to this rule, such as sparklers and toy caps, but, as Police Chief Terry Wilson put it, “If it leaves the ground or goes boom, it’s illegal.” Any person violating this ordinance shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor.

The City’s 4th of July fireworks display at Two Rivers Park has been cancelled and replaced with a laser show projected on Red Mountain. The 4th of July Celebration will also include children’s activities, two bands, and food and beverage options. City staff determined that the risk of fire this summer is too high to have a firework show. Event details are available at http://www.cogs.us/372/Fourth-of-July-Celebration.

Smoking

As with fireworks, even when fire restrictions are not in place, the City of Glenwood Springs has several smoking restrictions. To reduce the levels of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, smoking is not permitted in the following outdoor areas:

  • Within fifty (50) feet of any child care center or school
  • In the downtown area, between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.
  • Within twenty-five (25) feet of a transit stop
  • On any park, parkland, or recreation area or facility
  • Within twenty-five (25) feet of any common, active, or passive open space

Glenwood Springs Police Officers will be enforcing smoking restrictions. Anyone caught violating the smoking ordinance can be fined up to $200 for a first violation, $300 for a second violation, and $500 for each additional violation within a calendar year.

 

Burn Ban in the Town of Carbondale

May 30, 2018

Carbondale, Colo. – In conjunction with Garfield County’s Stage I Fire Restrictions that begin May 31, 2018, the Town of Carbondale and Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District are instituting State I Fire Restrictions within town limits until further notice.

Stage I Fire Restrictions include:

  • campfires are only allowed within designated fire grates in developed campgrounds (i.e. a metal, in-ground containment structure — fire pans and rock campfire rings are not acceptable)
  • no fires of any type, including charcoal grills, outside of developed areas
  • no smoking except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or in a barren area free of vegetation
  • no use of explosive materials
  • no welding or operation of an acetylene or other similar torch with open flame except from an area that has been cleared of vegetation
  • no operation of any internal combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed and in working order
    In addition, Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District is not issuing any open burning permits anywhere in the fire district. The fuel moisture content is low, there is not a lot of rain predicted in the near future and experts are predicting an increased wildfire risk in our area.  Restrictions will remain in place until sufficient rain has fallen to mitigate hazardous fire conditions.For questions, please contact Fire Chief Rob Goodwin at 970-963-2491 or rgoodwin@carbondalefire.org or Police Chief Gene Schilling at 970-963-2662 or genes@carbondaleco.net.

 

City of Rifle stage 1 fire restrictions by ordinance

Due to extremely dry conditions, effective May 31st, Garfield County enacted Stage 1 fire restrictions which will remain in place until further notice. Pursuant to Rifle Municipal Code 10-10-40 (e), all fire restrictions issued by Garfield County are applicable in the City of Rifle. This leaves Rifle Citizens wondering what they can and can’t do when it comes to fire.

Rifle City Code prohibits open burning from Memorial Day to Labor Day. “Open Burning” includes burning without utilizing some sort of stack or chimney and includes the sale, possession or use of fireworks (RMC 10-10-40).

The restrictions imposed by the Sheriff include:
Campfires are only allowed within designated fire grates in developed campgrounds (i.e. a metal, in-ground containment structure — fire pans and rock campfire rings are not acceptable).

No fires of any type including charcoal outside of developed areas.
No smoking except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or in a barren area free of vegetation.
No use of explosive materials, including explosive targets or bullets.
No welding or operation of an acetylene or other similar torch with open flame except from an area that has been cleared of vegetation.
No operation of any internal combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed and in working order.

What does this mean for your backyard grill or barbeque? Nothing. Yes, you can still enjoy your burgers and brats whether you are using an enclosed grill or an outdoor fireplace. But absolutely no fireworks and no burning that excess grass along your property’s fence line.
Until we receive a substantial amount of moisture, please use common sense with anything flammable or capable of creating a spark.

If you have any questions, please call dispatch at 970-625-8095 and ask to speak to Code Enforcement Officer Sara Flores.

 

Fire restrictions begin Friday for BLM lands in Mesa and Garfield counties

June 6, 2018

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – Stage 1 fire restrictions begin June 8 for the majority of Bureau of Land Management administered lands in Garfield and Mesa counties.

These restrictions cover all lands administered by the Grand Junction Field Office as well as the additional BLM-administered lands in Garfield and Mesa counties managed by the Colorado River Valley Field Office. Stage 1 fire restrictions are already in place for unincorporated private lands in Garfield and Mesa counties.

The Grand Junction Field Office also includes northern portion of Montrose County. With the Uncompahgre Field Office to the south already in stage 1 fire restrictions, all BLM lands and unincorporated private lands in Montrose County are also now in fire restrictions.

Fire managers base decisions about fire restrictions on specific moisture measurements in vegetation and other risk factors.

“Recent hot and dry weather is increasing fire danger, and we are seeing particularly high fire danger at elevations below about 8,000 feet,” said Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire and Aviation Management Unit Fire Management Officer Rob Berger. “Stage 1 fire restrictions help reduce the number of human-caused fires as well as increase public awareness of the high fire danger.”

BLM will be enforcing temporary restrictions of:

  • campfires are only allowed within designated fire grates in developed campgrounds (i.e. a metal, in-ground containment structure — fire pans and rock campfire rings are not acceptable)
  • no fires of any type including charcoal outside of developed areas
  • no smoking except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or in a barren area free of vegetation
  • no use of explosive materials, including explosive targets
  • no welding or operation of an acetylene or other similar torch with open flame except from an area that has been cleared of vegetation
  • no operation of any internal combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed and in working order

Fire restrictions on these lands will be in place until further notice. Violation of federal fire restrictions is punishable by a fine of not more than $100,000 or imprisonment for not more than 12 months or both. Those found responsible for starting wildfires will also face restitution costs of suppressing the fire.

Fireworks are always prohibited on BLM, National Forest and National Park Service lands.

Based on local conditions, BLM managers are not currently initiating fire restrictions in Eagle or Pitkin counties, nor is the White River National Forest initiating fire restrictions at this time. Fire officials caution that there is still a fire danger in these areas, and remind people to be careful with fire.

For more information about fire restrictions in these areas, log on to http://gacc.nifc.gov/rmcc/dispatch_centers/r2gjc/, call the Grand Junction Field Office (970) 244-3000, or the Colorado River Valley Field Office at (970) 876-9000.

 

UCR – Additional Fire restrictions begin Friday, June 15 due to high fire danger

June 13, 2018

Silt, Colo. – Stage 1 fire restrictions begin at 12:01 a.m. Friday, June 15 for the entire White River National Forest and Bureau of Land Management-administered lands in Summit, Eagle, and Pitkin Counties, and portions of Grand County adjacent to the Colorado River and Trough Road southwest of Kremmling and the Dice Hill area south of Kremmling. Stage 1 fire restrictions are already in effect in all lands in Mesa and Garfield counties and on unincorporated and private lands in Summit, Eagle, and Pitkin counties.

Fire managers base decisions about fire restrictions on specific moisture measurements in vegetation and other risk factors such as predicted weather and amount of current fire activity.

The BLM, White River National Forest, and Summit, Eagle and Pitkin County Sheriff’s Offices will be enforcing the following temporary restrictions:

  • Campfires are only allowed within designated fire grates in developed campgrounds (i.e., a metal, in-ground containment structure — fire pans and rock campfire rings are not acceptable).
  • No fires of any type, including charcoal, outside of developed areas.
  • No smoking except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or in a barren area free of vegetation.
  • No use of explosive materials, including explosive targets.
  • No welding or operation of an acetylene or other similar torch with open flame except from an area that has been cleared of vegetation.
  • No operation of any internal combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed and in working order.

Fireworks are always prohibited on BLM, National Forest and National Park Service lands.

Fire restrictions on these lands will be in place until further notice. Those found responsible for starting wildfires will also face restitution costs of suppressing the fire.

For more information about fire restrictions in these areas, go to: https://gacc.nifc.gov/rmcc/dispatch_centers/r2gjc/fireinfo_restrictions/index.html

Stage 1 fire restrictions