Routt County state parks enact stage II fire restrictions

Stage II fire restrictions issued by Routt County have been implemented at Pearl Lake, Stagecoach, Steamboat Lake and Yampa River state parks, Colorado Parks and Wildlife reported Thursday in a news release.

The Routt County restrictions, according to the release, prohibit:

• Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire, charcoal grill, coal stove or wood burning stove, including in developed camping and picnic grounds. Devices using pressurized liquid or gas are exempted.

• Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle, trailer, building or tent.

• Using an explosive requiring fuse or blasting caps, all fireworks, sparklers, rockets, exploding targets and tracers, or incendiary ammunition.

• Operating a chainsaw without an approved spark arrestor, without a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher and without one “O” or larger round point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches that is readily available for use.

• Other internal combustion engines, including motorcycles and ATVs, must have spark arresting devices that are properly installed and in working order.

“Very hot and dry conditions have created extreme fire danger,” said Julie Arington, Park Manager of Steamboat and Pearl Lakes, in the release. “We hope that our visitors understand why we need to strictly enforce the county’s fire ban, but we also want to encourage people to come and enjoy the parks in a safe and responsible manner.”

With the fire danger high across the state, new fire bans are possible. Anyone who is planning a cookout or camp fire at a state park is advised to call ahead or check the park website to learn about fire restrictions that may be in place, the release stated.