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Fire restrictions expand upvalley

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White River National Forest and Pitkin County have joined Garfield County and Carbondale in instituting stage one fire restrictions.

That means no campfires outside designated grates in developed campgrounds, no smoking except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or in a barren area free of vegetation, no use of explosive materials, no welding or use of a torch with an open flame and no operation of internal combustion engines without spark arrest.

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Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District will not be issuing any open burn permits until conditions improve and Garfield County has further prohibited the use — but not the sale — of fireworks. 

According to Garfield County Emergency Manager Chris Bornholdt, the county may elevate its restrictions soon. “We had seven fires this past weekend, and one was fairly large near the interstate,” he told the commissioners. “I think this fireworks ban is a good thing to prevent future starts that may cause a large wildfire.”

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