Commission reduces fire restrictions to Stage 1

Residents may light larger open pits with permit

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In other action...

During it’s regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, the Moffat County Commission:

• Approved, 3-0, sending a letter to the Bureau of Land Management against proposed fracking rules.

• Approved, 3-0, waiving the bid process for a utilities box for the road and bridge department.

• Went into executive session to discuss Moffat County Road 47 lawsuit.

The Moffat County Commission Tuesday reduced its open burn ban in unincorporated Moffat County from Stage 2 fire restrictions to Stage 1.

Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz attended Tuesday’s meeting and recommended the commissioner’s reduce fire restriction levels based on conversations he has had with cooperating agencies in the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit.

Though Jantz conceded many northwest Colorado governing bodies have already reduced or completely removed their respective fire bans, Moffat County has not received the same amount of precipitation as Rio Blanco County to the south or Routt and Grand counties to the east, and the risk of future wildfires still exists.

But Jantz cited the manner in which Craig and Moffat County residents have responded to this summer’s high fire danger during his recommendation to reduce restrictions Tuesday.

“I want to make this clear, our population has been overwhelmingly supportive of fire restrictions this summer,” Jantz said. “They have been exceptional in their lack of use of fireworks and notifying us of fires.

“I believe the vast majority of Moffat County residents are going to continue to exercise exceptional common sense (with a reduction of fire restrictions).”

Though activities such as burning trash, vegetation and debris; smoking outdoors in non-designated areas; welding or operating an open flame in areas not clear of flammables for at least 10 feet on all sides; and setting off fireworks remain prohibited, the reduction does allow the lighting of camp fires or charcoal grills in developed recreation areas featuring permanent fire pits with grates.

In addition, Jantz recommended the commission remove the provision mandating welders apply for a permit with the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office, citing the unnecessary burden on the oil and natural gas industry.

Jantz also asked residents be allowed to apply for permits to light larger open barbecue pits. With the upcoming Labor Day holiday, activities such as a pig roast require larger barbecue pits than allowed under the fire restrictions.

The commission approved, 3-0, the reduction and Jantz’s recommended amendments to the resolution.

Criminal and civil penalties remain in place and may be levied against those who violate the new fire regulations.

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