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Forest Service lifts fire restrictions

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Friday, July 13, 2018 11:33 AM

The San Juan National Forest has lifted all fire restrictions on Forest Service Land.

"Recent thunderstorms have brought much needed moisture to the area," the agency wrote in a press release this week. "More rain is expected over the next few weeks. The thunderstorms have produced more rain in some areas than others. The current average fire danger is low. The Dolores Ranger District has received the most rainfall, while the Pagosa Ranger District has received the least. The Weminuche wilderness and adjacent high elevations have received substantially more rainfall." The restrictions were lifted on July 12.

La Plata County remains in Stage 2 fire restrictions, which bans almost all open fires and flames.

The BLM land around Silverton will also be lifting all fire restrictions, but the lower elevation BLM land around Dolores and Durango will stay at Stage 1 restrictions, meaning that campfires are allowed only in established campgrounds.

"While the thunderstorms are also bringing lightning and new fire starts, the humidity is high and fires are easily controlled and put out," the USFS wrote. "Human starts have been almost nonexistent."

Fire restriction decisions are based on fire behavior, ability to control a fire once it starts, firefighting resources available, forest fuels, temperatures, wind and observed and predicted weather. Most of the forest has received sufficient rainfall and fires have been easily controlled. However, the public is reminded to use caution with fires. Do not leave campfires unattended or toss out cigarette butts.

Closures for the Burro and 416 Fire remain in effect and city, county and BLM fire restrictions remain in effect. Check with your local offices for current fire restrictions. Those living near fire burn scars should also be vigilant for potential debris flows and sign up with the CodeRed emergency notification system at http://bit.ly/CodeRed_signup.

For more Forest Service fire restriction and closure information, contact the San Juan National Forest at 247-4874, or visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/sanjuan/firerestrictions.

For BLM fire information, visit https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire-and-aviation/regional-information/colorado/.

To report a fire on federal lands, please contact the Durango Interagency Fire Dispatch Center at 385-1324.

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