Craig, Moffat County rescind fire restrictions

Storm cell ignites several small fires in Moffat, Rio Blanco

In other action...

At its regular meeting Tuesday, the Moffat County Commission:

• Approved, 3-0, waiving the bid process for doors at the Moffat County Fairgrounds grandstands.

• Approved, 2-1, a $34,725 bid from Craig Ford for a new county fleet vehicle.

• Approved, 3-0, waiving the bid process for a pickup snow plow for the road and bridge department.

• Approved, 3-0, final payment to Patriot Highway Markings.

• Approved, 3-0, hiring a full-time self-sufficiency manager for the Department of Social Services.

• Approved, 3-0, a $2,000 contract with High Desert Outdoor Power to conduct annual generator maintenance.

In other action...

At its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, the Craig City Council:

• Approved, 7-0, a special events permit for the Craig Chamber of Commerce at the Boys and Girls Club of Craig.

• Heard Energy Education Plan report from Kate Nowak, of Yampa Valley Data Partners.

• Heard Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership update from director Betsy Nauman-Cook.

• Approved, 7-0, an $18,235 engineering contract with Diversified Consulting Solutions for Ridgeview Trail.

• Heard August financial report from Finance director Bruce Nelson.

• Heard water/wastewater monthly reports.

The Craig City Council followed the county's lead Tuesday night by unanimously voting to rescind fire restrictions in Craig city limits.

The decision took effect immediately.

“It’s time,” said city council member Don Jones. “In the morning the grass is wet, evenings are cool and I know we’re getting into that time of year when people like to sit out on their porches and light a fire in a pit.

“Now it’s about education and making sure people understand there is still a danger out there.”

Earlier in the day the Moffat County Commission also voted unanimously to rescind all fire restrictions in unincorporated portions of Moffat County.

Their decision went into effect at Noon.

Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz attended Tuesday’s commissioner meeting and voiced support of the action to maintain consistency with other state and federal agencies in the county.

On Sept. 14 fire management officials with the Bureau of Land Management, Dinosaur National Monument, and Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge decided to rescind all fire restrictions on public lands in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties.

But Jantz spoke to some of the remaining hazards Jones coincidentally alluded to several hours later.

“This doesn’t mean there’s no longer a fire danger,” Jantz said. “People still need to take the necessary precautions because it’s still pretty dry out there.

“If you’re going to burn trash make sure the area is clear of fuels, and have your shovels and buckets of water on hand.”

Fire officials with the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit concurred with Jantz after the commission meeting.

On Monday a storm cell ignited five wildland fires, all less than one tenth of an acre in size, in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties.

“We still need people to be careful using fire outdoors,”Northwest Colorado Fire Management Officer Colt Mortenson said in a news release. “The indicators continue to show high fire danger.”

One fire was located on BLM about six miles west of Massadona.

All fires are reportedly contained, according to the fire management unit release, which was issued Tuesday.

Joe Moylan can be reached at 875-1794 or jmoylan@craigdailypress.com.

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