In conjunction with San Miguel County, Telluride Fire Protection District, Norwood Fire Protection District, and Egnar Fire Protection District, the Town of Mountain Village will be placed under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions effective Monday, May 21 at 6 a.m. due to exceptional drought conditions in the region.
Sheriff Bill Masters said that it is each citizen’s responsibility to do their part to prevent human-caused wildfires. “Fire danger is unusually high for our county and neighboring counties. Everyone needs to know and obey all fire restrictions.”
Under ordinance No. 02-04 § 2 of the Town of Mountain Village Municipal Code the following shall apply to all open fires within the incorporated limits of the Town, as further specified herein, but shall not apply to approved, permanent gas fireplace locations within a residential or commercial building:
- Building, maintaining, attending or using any fire to burn trash, debris, or vegetation, any campfire, warming fire, and charcoal, paper or wood grills;
- Smoking; except within an enclosed vehicle or building or an area at least three (3) feet in diameter cleared of all flammable material and all smoking debris shall be disposed of properly in an enclosed container;
- Fireworks of any kind;
- Operation of a chainsaw or a chop saw for cutting steel without USDA or SAE approved spark arresting devise property installed and in effective working order, and a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher of not less than eight (8) ounces capacity by weight, and one size zero (0) or larger round pointed shovel with an overall length of at least thirty-six (36) inches. The extinguisher shall be with the chainsaw operator. The shovel may be kept with the fueling supplies but readily available for quick use;
- Welding or operating acetylene or any other torch with an open flame; except within an area that is barren or cleared of all flammable material at least ten (10) feet on all sides from the equipment;
- Using explosives requiring fuses or blasting caps.
The following shall be considered exempt from such open fire restrictions:
- Any federal, state, or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty;
- Any fires contained within liquid fueled or gas fueled stoves and fireplaces;
- Campfires or bonfires required in religious ceremonies for which the Chief has granted a valid written permit in advance. (Ord. No. 02-04 § 3)
Permitted actions include:
- Operating a stove, lantern, or other device fueled by liquid petroleum or bottled fuel equipped with a valve that allows the operator to turn the flame on and off.
- Operating an internal or external combustion engine with a properly installed and maintained spark-arresting device in effective working order.
This Order shall remain in effect for 30 days unless adopted by Resolution by the Mountain Village Town Council.
Ouray, Montrose, and Delta counties are also being placed under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions effective Monday. Dolores and San Juan counties have had restrictions in place since May 1.
Telluride Fire Protection District Chief John Bennett said while the Telluride region is not currently at as high of a risk as the western part of San Miguel County, this is a prudent measure. “Our job is to protect our people and property in our district from fires, and this is one very important step to help reduce that risk.”