The Town of Vail has joined Eagle County, White River National Forest, Bureau of Land Management and other local fire authorities in enacting Stage II fire restrictions. The restrictions take effect on Friday, June 22 and ban any open fire.
Stage II fire restrictions prohibit:
- Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire, charcoal grill, any type of charcoal fueled broiler, Tiki torch, wood burning stove, sheepherders stove, or open fire of any type. These restrictions include developed camping and picnic grounds. Devices using pressurized liquid or gas are exempted;
- Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, trailer, building or tent; or in urbanized areas not closer than 15 feet from flammable vegetation (i.e. parking lot, sidewalk, etc.). Smoking material shall be discarded in an appropriate container specific for this use.
- Using an explosive requiring fuse or blasting caps, fireworks, rockets, exploding targets and tracers or incendiary ammunition;
- Operating a chainsaw, cutoff saw, or any other mechanical equipment without an approved spark arrestor and without chemical pressurized fire extinguisher (8 oz. capability by weight or larger and kept with the operator) and without one “O” or larger round point shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches that is readily available for use;
- Welding, or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame (except with a current permit, contract or letter of authorization and the welding area must be barren or cleared of all flammable material for 10 feet on all sides of the equipment);
- Operating or using any internal combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order meeting either: A. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Standard 5100-1a; or B. Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) recommended practice J335(b) and J350(a).
The following persons are exempt from this order:
- Persons with a permit or letter of authorization specifically authorizing the prohibited act or omission.
- Any federal, state, or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.
Note: If you have questions regarding what is allowed or not allowed, please contact Fire Chief Mark Miller at 477-3474 or Fire Marshal Mike Vaughan at 479-2252.
Chief Miller says the fire danger in Vail/Eagle County is at historic levels. As such, he’s urging residents and guests to be vigilant in helping to prevent human-caused wildfires. He's also inviting people living in and near fire-prone areas to take part in a community workshop from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, July 2 at the West Vail Fire Station. The “Ready, Set, Go!” meeting will provide critical information on defensible space, ember awareness, evacuation kits and evacuation plans, wildland vehicles and response, along with many other steps that are outlined at www.firewise.org. In addition, residents should prepare emergency evacuation plans and make sure they have their most valuable and important possessions prepared for transport.
To receive real-time emergency text or email notifications, subscribe to EC Alert at www.ecalert.org.
A comprehensive listing of fire restrictions throughout the state and other fire related emergency information can be found online at www.coemergency.com. Information on current wildfires in Colorado and around the country is available at www.inciweb.org.