Stage 2 fire restrictions initiated on Rio Grande National Forest

Monte Vista, Colo., May 19, 2020 – The Rio Grande National Forest is initiating Stage 2 fire restrictions beginning May 20. The low snowpack and warm temperatures have created unusually dry conditions for this time of year within the San Luis Valley.

These restrictions are a slight change from the regional fire restrictions initiated on April 7, which are being rescinded on May 20.

Stage 2 fire restrictions prohibit:

  1. Igniting, building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, including fires in developed recreation sites (campgrounds and picnic areas), charcoal grills and barbecues, coal and wood burning stoves, and sheepherder’s stoves.
  2. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, trailer, or building.
  3. Blasting, welding, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.
  4. Operating or using any internal combustion engine without an effective and properly installed USDA- or Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)- approved spark arrestor.
  5. Operating a chainsaw without an effective and properly installed USDA- or SAE- approved spark arrestor, a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher (with a minimum of 8 oz. capacity and rating of 2A) kept with the operator and a round point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches readily available for use.
  6. Using an explosive. This includes but is not limited to fuses, blasting caps, fireworks, rockets, exploding targets, tracers, and incendiary ammunition.
  7. Possessing or using a motor vehicle off established roads, motorized trails or established parking areas, except when parking in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the vehicle.

As a reminder, the use of explosives and incendiary devices, including fireworks, are prohibited year-round on all federal lands.

For more information, contact the Rio Grande National Forest at (719) 480-3364. Please also follow us on Facebook at and Twitter



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