Sheriff to offer commission fire prohibition

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Moffat County Sheriff Buddy Grinstead will advise the Moffat County commissioners to issue a county wide fire ban at a meeting at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

The Craig Interagency Dispatch Center has rated the current fire condition in Moffat County as "extreme."

Due to the wildfires burning throughout Colorado and high fire danger in other parts of the state, Gov. Bill Owens has asked county governments, municipalities and federal land agencies that have not yet implemented a ban on open fires and fireworks to reconsider their circumstances and implement restrictions as they see fit. Grinstead has said in addition to a ban, he would also like to see an ordinance adopted outlining exactly what people can and cannot do under a ban.

An ordinance, he says, would give a fire ban "teeth."

The ordinance would also outline what penalties would be if people did not abide by the rules.

Grinstead said he has presented an ordinance to commissioners in years past, but said the commissioners have not adopted the resolution.

Restrictions outlined in the ordinance previously presented by Grinstead include:

Building, maintaining, attending or using any fire to burn trash, debris, fence rows or vegetation, any campfire, warming fire, or charcoal grill; except in designated campgrounds, picnic areas or developed recreation sites where permanent fire pits or fire grates are located.

Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area of at least three feet in diameter that is barren and cleared of all flammable material.

Operating a chainsaw without a USDA or SAE approved spark arresting device properly installed and in effective working order.

Welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with an open flame except within an area that is barren or cleared of all flammable material at least 10 feet on all sides from the equipment and possess a chemical pressurized five pound fire extinguisher.

o Using explosives requiring fuses or blasting caps.

o Discharge of any fireworks.

For first offenses people could be fined no more than $100.

For second offenses people could be fined no more than $200.

For third offenses people would be subjected to the maximum fine permitted by law.

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