Recent rainfall has prompted federal fire officials to modify fire restrictions across the Western Slope.
The different bans have been in place in the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit (UCR) for months.
Effective Friday, July 20th, all fire restrictions in the White River National Forest will be rescinded. Wednesday morning, the Grand Mesa, Umcompahgre and Gunnison National Forests were downgraded to Stage I restrictions.
Federal lands managed by the BLM Colorado River and Grand Junction Field Offices, however, remain under Stage II Fire Restrictions. Again, this announcement only applies to federal land within the UCR.
“We have taken a careful look at the weather and fuel moisture date from weather stations across the UCR. This information indicates that we should lift the fire restrictions for the White River National Forest," Bill Hahnenberg, Fire Management Officer for the UCR said. "However, the lower elevation areas remain very dry. The data supports keeping the areas managed by the BLM at Stage II restrictions at this time.”
Officials say the fire danger remains higher on BLM lands because they are generally lower in elevation and receive less consistent rain.
Because of the differing conditions across the UCR, counties have taken different positions with regard to fire restrictions for non-federal lands. Fire restrictions remain in effect for Pitkin, Garfield, Eagle and Rio Blanco Counties. Fire restrictions have been lifted for Summit and Mesa Counties.
Officials are urging the public to contact the County Sheriff for the most current information.