I am not one big on announcements, however this past week is reminded me of two years ago when the Golf Course Fire was less than a quarter mile from Base Camp and the fire season in Colorado was in full flame, literally. As for now, there are 2 large fires to the west of Base Camp @ Grand Lake; the Pine Gulch Fire and the Grizzly Creek Fire. Closer to home are the Cameron Peak Fire (North) and the Williams Fork Fire (South), though these are smaller fires relatively speaking both at the time of this writing have zero containment. Why I am I writing about this, because we are responsible for our actions. What does this mean, the Pine Gulch Fire has been confirmed as caused by lightning, the three remaining fires are most likely human caused, though not confirmed (Note: Williams Fork Fire has been determined to be human caused).
The forests through out Colorado are a tinderbox due to the beetle kill over the past decade plus. We need to responsible when recreating outdoors and as Smokey Bear says, “Only you can prevent wildfires.” Remember it is fire season in Colorado. Think before you go out, have Red Flag Warnings been posted and are there fire restrictions in the area you will be recreating, which are typically issued as Stage 1 and Stage 2. Red Flag Warnings are issued by the National Weather Service, which means warm temperatures, very low humidities and stronger winds are expected to combine to produce an elevated risk of fire danger. Stage 1 and Stage 2 Fire Restrictions are a bit more complicated as they are issued by various federal agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service or National Park Service on lands they oversee, however states and counties can impose the restrictions as needed as well. Below are a few guidelines to adhere when fire danger is elevated.
- Adhere to all fire restrictions, particularly Stage 2, this includes but not limited to the following:
- No open fires or campfires of any kind.
- No use of open flame torches or explosives.
- No operation of any internal or external combustion engine without a spark arresting device, properly installed, maintained and in effective working order.
- Smoking only permitted in an enclosed vehicle or building.
- Extinguish your campfire, If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.
- Never simply discard a cigarette on the ground or throw it out a car window.
***Source of Wildfire Information: InciWeb
***Source of Stage 2 Fire Restrictions: Grand County Wildfire Council (GCWC)