Fri Jul 2nd, 2021
Tags: Colorado state helicopter, dry conditions, Durango zone dispatch, fire management, fire season, Fort Lewis Mesa, Lightning storms, Local communities, Los Pinos fire Protection district, North cinder Butte area fires, Prohibited acts, Southern Ute Agency Fire Management, Southern Ute Indian Reservation, Southern Ute Tribal firefighters, Stage one fire restrictions, U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs
Eighteen separate fires broke out on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation in recent weeks; dubbed the North Cinder Butte Area Fires – located throughout the west side of the reservation. The cause of the North Cinder Butte Area Fires was the result of the recent lightning storms throughout the region.
Fire crews responded to quickly prioritize the multiple fires. The Bureau of Indian Affairs, Southern Ute Agency Fire Management and Los Piños Fire Protection District, Fort Lewis Mesa, and Colorado State helicopter responded to the North Cinder Butte Area Fires with Type II IA Crew, four engines, and air support. Southern Ute Tribal firefighters were also on the fires and contributed to the overall success.
Smoke was visible from the CO Hwy 140 corridor. Individuals were asked to avoid County Road 136 and the west end of County Road 100. Smoke was also visible to the local communities. For information related to air quality, please go to: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health
The Tribe coordinates with local agencies to ensure the safety of the public and to minimize the impact of fires on the Reservation. The Tribe also worked with oil and gas operators in the area in an effort to mitigate any potential impact from those operators to first responder’s ability to contain fires effectively. “No oil and gas wells were shut in or facilities impacted as we kept the fires all under ten acres in size,” said Rich Gustafson, Fire Management Officer with the BIA Southern Ute Agency.
As a reminder, Stage 1 fire restrictions were enacted for Southern Ute Indian Reservation on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 and will remain in effect until conditions improve.
Stage I Fire Restrictions prohibits acts for the general public, commercial operators and industrial oil and gas operators performing work on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation.
Commercial and Industrial restrictions can be obtained from the BIA Fire Office at 575 County Road 517 or by calling 970-563-4571.
Anyone violating the provisions of this fire ban may be subject to prosecution outlined in the Southern Ute Indian Criminal Code.
For more information on the North Cinder Butte Area Fires, please visit the Southern Ute Indian Tribe website, and follow the Southern Ute Indian Tribe on social media.
To report fires contact:
DURANGO ZONE DISPATCH 970-385-1324
For more info or to report Fire Restriction Violations contact: BIA Fire Management 970-563-4571 OR Southern Ute Police Department 970-563-4401