Moffat County issues fire restrictions |

Moffat County issues fire restrictions

Fireworks on Fourth of July still will happen in Craig

Noelle Leavitt Riley
Fireworks explode in the night sky over Craig in 2011. Despite the Stage 1 fire restrictions enacted by the Bureau of Land Management and Moffat County, the Fourth of July fireworks show will go on as scheduled at Moffat County High School.
Courtesy Photo

Craig still will have a big fireworks display on the Fourth of July despite the Bureau of Land Management and Moffat County enacting Stage 1 fire restrictions.

Unincorporated Moffat County now is under Stage 1 fire restrictions after the commissioners approved a resolution Tuesday, outlining no open fires or open burning in various parts of the county.

“I think it’s good we do this before the Fourth” of July, Moffat County Commissioner Chuck Grobe said.

Last week, BLM announced that all public land will be under Stage 1 fire restrictions.

Yet the city of Craig currently does not have any fire restrictions in place, making the big fireworks show at Moffat County High School a go.

Additionally, those who want to shoot legal firecrackers in Craig can do so, said Craig Chief of Police Walt Vanatta.

“I would use advice to remain with what’s legal and what stays on the ground,” he said.

Firecrackers that leave the ground, such as bottle rockets, are illegal, and shooting fireworks on BLM land or in unincorporated parts of the county also is illegal.

Stage 1 restrictions in unincorporated Moffat County, according to county documents, prohibit:

• Open burning, except fires and campfires that are contained in fire grates that were developed by campgrounds and picnic grounds, charcoal grills and wood-burning stoves at private homes in areas cleared of all flammable materials.

• The sale or use of fireworks.

• Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with an open flame, except within an area that is cleared of flammable material.

• Outdoor smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least 3 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.

• Operating a chain saw without a USDA- or SAE-approved spark-arresting device.

“This will give us teeth to enforce this ordinance,” said Todd Wheeler, of the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office.

Those caught violating fire restrictions could face a $200 fine.

Noelle Leavitt Riley can be reached at 970-875-1790 or

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