Saguache News – May 8

The Specifics of Fire Bans in Saguache Today

by Kathy Bedell © Saguache Today

Wildfire officials across Colorado are calling for an active wildfire season in 2018, with tinder-dry conditions and a request for residents and visitors to be extra vigilant as they get outside and enjoy the summer season. However it’s important to know exactly how fire bans are initiated and enforced when it comes to Saguache County.

According to Saguache County Clerk and Recorder Trish Gilbert, it is Saguache County Sheriff Dan Warwick who is charged with those duties, acting as the official “Fire Marshall” on the county’s behalf. On April 5, 2018 that’s exactly what Sheriff Warwick did when he, in cooperation with the Saguache County Commissioners, initiated a Stage Two Fire Ban. And while other counties have also initiated such precautionary measures, Sheriff Warwick’s ban is specific as to location and use when it comes to Saguache County. Therefore it’s important for residents to understand those details so that they can exercise caution and comply with the current restrictions in place.

Saguache Today_Fremont Fire_Kim

Smoke from the Hayden Pass Fire in 2016 could be seen on the other wide of the Sangre de Cristos in Saguache. Photo: Saguache Today/Kim Rodriquez

Readers can view the official document for Stage Two Fire Ban in Saguache County HERE. But ST has also outlined it below, as follows:

The fire ban is effective for the East side of Saguache County, specifically from East of Colorado Highway 17, from Highway 112 to Highway 285 and East of Highway 285 from the Highway 17 and Highway 285 Junction, North to the summit of Poncha Pass.

The following activities are prohibited in these designated areas under the current Stage Two Fire Ban:

  • Building, maintaining, attending or using an open fire to burn trash, debris, fence rows, or vegetation, any campfire (including in Forest Service Campgrounds), warming fire  or charcoal grill. Propane grill fires are allowed.
  • Lighting of fireworks of any kind, explosives, blasting caps, or any incendiary which may result in the ignition of flammable material.
  • Smoking except in an enclosed vehicle or building.
  • Welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame.
  • Disposing of any burning material or materiel hot enough to cause the ignition of weeds or grass such as cigarette or cigar butts or hot coals, except in a fireproof receptacle designed for such disposal.
  • The use of chainsaws and other internal combustion engines unless equipped with a spark arrestor, and accompanied onsite by a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher of not less than 8 ounces weight capacity, and a size 0 or larger round pointed shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches.

The following person(s) shall be exempt from the provisions of this Ordinance:.

  • Persons with a valid permit or authorization from Saguache County Sheriff Dan Warwick authorizing the otherwise prohibited act.
  • Any federal, state or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.

For the official announcement on the restrictions, click here. Anyone with questions is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at 719-655-2544. 

Food4_Cinco de Mayo_Saguache Today

Members of the Saguache Volunteer Fire Department, raise fund during last Saturday’s Cinco de Mayo Celebrate in downtown Saguache. Photo: Kathy Bedell/Saguache Today


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