Summit County lifts fire ban as part of concerted Western Slope action – Colorado News

Summit County lifts fire ban as part of concerted Western Slope action – Colorado News

Along with five other Western Slope communities and the White River National Forest, Summit lifted its countywide fire ban Tuesday with formal approval coming at a special Board of County Commissioners afternoon meeting.

The action is also in line with neighboring Clear Creek and Gilpin counties, as well as Boulder County’s decision to take the same step the day before. The lone exception among the Western Slope contingent of Eagle, Pitkin, Mesa and Rio Blanco is Garfield County, which will maintain its existing restrictions at all sites below 8,000 feet of elevation.

“At least for the moment, we’re out of the woods,” said Red, White and Blue Fire Protection District chief Jim Keating. “I wasn’t (supportive) last week, but we got a little bit of moisture and we’re still getting moisture. There’s been a significant decrease of unattended campfires — they’re still happening, but not to the degree they were.”

The open campfire ban went into effect in Summit County after the county commissioners initiated an emergency meeting on July 5 to enact the restrictions shortly after the Peak 2 wildfire in Frisco continued to flare up. Still smoldering, that fire eventually devoured 84 acres of U.S. Forest Service land near Breckenridge over the course of several days and remains at 85 percent containment.

The commissioners took the recommendation of Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons — technically the local fire warden — with support from the area fire chiefs to bring an end to the limitations. Commissioner Dan Gibbs, a certified wildlands firefighter and chair of Colorado’s Division of Fire Prevention and Control Wildfire advisory committee, missed the…

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