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Southern Ute Indian Tribe, La Plata County enact Stage 1 fire restrictions

Fire restrictions help agencies and the community reduce fire risk and prevent fires during periods of high or extreme fire danger.
Photo Credit: Staff report | The Southern Ute Drum

Southern Ute Indian Tribe initiates Stage 1 fire restrictions 

Due to the current high temperatures, dry fuel conditions and occurrence of recent wildland fires, Stage 1 fire restrictions have been implemented for all trust lands throughout the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. Everyone on reservation lands is asked to be very cautious and use common sense with fire this time of year. 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. 


General Public: 

Prohibited acts: 

1. OPEN BURNING. Burning of trash and/or yard waste is prohibited. 

2. AGRICULTURAL BURNING. Burning of crop land, fields, rangeland, debris burning, 

slash piles, prescribed burning and weed burning are prohibited. 

3. CAMP FIRES. Building, maintaining, or using a warming fire or campfire outside of 

officially designated or developed camp sites is prohibited. The fire restrictions do not 

include charcoal fires (in suitable containers) for barbecues or fires for sweat ceremonies, 

however, such fires are not to be left unattended and are to be fully extinguished after 


4. FIREWORKS. Possession, discharging or use of any type or fireworks is prohibited. 

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. 

The Restrictions will become effective at 6a.m., July 10, 2023 and will remain in effect until conditions improve. 

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 


La Plata County enacts Stage 1 fire restrictions

La Plata County Sheriff Sean Smith, who is also authorized by state statute as the fire warden of La Plata County, is acting on the recommendation of area fire chiefs and in accord with the Southern Ute Agency, by enacting Stage 1 Fire Restrictions effective 6 a.m. Monday, July 10.

Fire restrictions help agencies and the community reduce fire risk and prevent fires during periods of high or extreme fire danger. Stage 1 fire restrictions prohibit the following acts in the unincorporated areas of La Plata County and upon all lands owned by La Plata County, excluding private lands in the Towns of Bayfield and Ignacio, the City of Durango or any Federal or Tribal lands:

  • Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, coal or wood burning stove; any type of charcoal fueled broiler; open fire of any type in undeveloped areas EXCEPT THAT as long as not left unattended and fully extinguished after use, the use of charcoal or gas barbecue grills at private residences or fires in a designated campground or inside established metal fire rings with a grate cover on private property are not prohibited.
  • Open burning, burn barrels and agricultural burning except by agricultural producers as provided for in C.R.S. §30-15-401(n.5)(III) and defined in C.R.S. §35-28-104(11); provided however, that such agricultural burning is permitted only with 24 hours prior notification to the appropriate fire chief or the Sheriff of La Plata County; and
  • The use of floating sky lanterns, fire balloons or acetylene balloons are always prohibited in La Plata County.

The La Plata County website has the most current information on fire restrictions. Visit

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