The Bureau of Land Management has enacted Stage 2 fire restrictions for lands throughout Southern Colorado, including those in Chaffee County.
The announcement came on a windswept fall afternoon one day after the Cameron Peak Fire north of Rocky Mountain National Park grew to become the largest wildfire in state history, breaking a record that had been set just 48 days prior when the Pine Gulch Fire north of Grand Junction grew larger than the 2002 Hayman Fire.
The Cameron Peak Fire was listed as 56 percent contained as of Thursday afternoon at 164,140 acres.
“These fire restrictions are being put in place due to an unseasonably dry and windy fall,” Royal Gorge Field Manager Keith Berger said in a news release Thursday.
“Despite the late date, fire danger has been steadily increasing and the forecast does not show signs of relief anytime soon.”
Restrictions are in effect for BLM-administered lands in Chaffee, Fremont and Park counties.
Under Stage 2 Fire Restrictions the following acts are prohibited:
• Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, charcoal barbecue, or grills are prohibited on federal lands. The use of portable stoves or lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel are allowed.
• Smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
• Operating a chainsaw without a USDA or SAE approved spark arrester properly installed and working, a chemical fire extinguisher of not less than 8 ounces capacity by weight, and one round point shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches.
• Using a welder, either arc or gas, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.
• Using exploding targets.