Fire restrictions to take effect June 18 on reservation

The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Southern Ute Agency announced on Tuesday, June 11 it would begin imposing fire restrictions on the Southern Ute Reservation.

Stage I restrictions prohibit open burning of trash or yard waste, agricultural burning, campfires and fireworks. Additional rules apply to commercial and industrial operators working on the reservation, including requirements to keep firefighting equipment nearby and to handle and store flammable liquids according to regulations.

It’s not uncommon for Stage I restrictions to take effect each summer. Last year, the agency announced they would take effect June 8 and then, due to worsening conditions, escalated to Stage II — deemed necessary in only a few years over the past decade — on June 16.

Anyone caught violating the provisions of a fire ban could face up to $25,000 in fines or five years in jail.

For more information, call BIA Fire Management at 970-563-4571.

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