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Posted on: April 8, 2020

Buena Vista / Chaffee County / USFS & BLM Fire Restrictions

The Town of Buena Vista

June 25 Update from Buena Vista Fire Chief Villers:

With recent rainstorms, moisture, and the upcoming holiday the Buena Vista Fire Department is lifting fire restrictions on the use of charcoal grills, smokers, and fire pits WITHIN the city limits. NOT to include the open burning of brush, trash, or any other open flames.

This means anyone WITHIN the city limits is able to use their fire pits, charcoal grills, and smokers at this time but is subject to change at a moment’s notice with increased fire danger.

Please keep in mind that unincorporated Chaffee County is still under Stage 2 fire restrictions along with Forest Service and BLM lands.

Please enjoy your upcoming holiday festivities and use fire wisely while practice social distancing. Have a wonderful upcoming weekend!

Dixon Villers
Fire Chief

The USFS and BLM have introduced Stage 2 Fire Restrictions on all lands within Chaffee County.

The following fire-related activities are prohibited on all Chaffee County, Forest Service, and BLM lands:

  1. Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, charcoal barbecue, or grills are prohibited on federal lands. The use of portable stoves, lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel are allowed.
  2. Smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
  3. Operating a chainsaw without a USDA or SAE approved spark arrester properly installed and working, a chemical fire extinguisher of not less than 8 ounces capacity by weight, and one round point shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches.
  4. Using a welder, either arc or gas, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.
  5. Using exploding targets.

Exceptions to the prohibited fire-related activities include:
1. Persons with a Forest Permit, Form FS-7700-48, specifically exempting them from the effect of this Order in the areas listed above.
2. Any Federal, State or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty is exempt from Prohibitions.
3. Persons using pressurized liquid or gas devices (stoves, grills or lanterns) with shut-off valves in an area at least three feet from any flammable materials are exempt from Prohibition #1.
4. Residents, owners or lessees within the areas listed above who are using a fire in a permanent dwelling with an effective and properly installed USDA- or SAE- approved spark arrestor, are exempt from Prohibition #1.

During this fire restriction period, igniting, building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or smoking on national forests and grasslands is a violation of the law and may result in an appearance in federal court, fines, and possible time in jail.

Fire restrictions enhance public safety, protect natural and cultural resources, and help prevent human-caused wildfires. 

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