Saguache County declares 'Fire Hazard Emergency'

Implements Stage 1 Fire Restrictions

SAGUACHE COUNTY — Signs of Spring are found throughout the San Luis Valley and along with the warmer temperatures, also comes Red Flag Warnings and high fire risk.

The Saguache County Commissioners reactivated Resolution 2020-2.

Saguache County Sheriff Dan Warwick stated that “Resolution 2020-2 has been reactivated (Declaring a Fire Hazard Emergency) only applies to the East side of Highway 17 at this time.”

The resolution declares the unincorporated areas of Saguache County under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions and prohibits:

  • Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, burning ditches, fence rows and trash, including household trash.
  • Using explosive material, such as fireworks, blasting caps or any incendiary device which may result in ignition of flammable material.
  • Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building.
  • Welding or operating an acetylene or similar torch with an open flame.

The following actions are permitted:

  • Fires including stoves within enclosed buildings or recreational vehicles and chainsaws which are equipped with adequate spark arresting screens which prevent the escape of sparks.
  • Mechanical stoves and appliances fueled by bottled or liquid gas which allow the operator to turn the flame on and off are permitted. Campfires that are maintained in an approved campfire ring.
  • Agricultural burning will be permitted when a controlled burn is reported to the Saguache County Sheriff's Office. All agricultural burning must be monitored at all times by the owner of the property and no burning permitted on Red Flag days.

The Saguache County Department of Emergency Management has some resources for all emergencies that can be found on the County website, including a resource for residents to receive a free wildfire risk assessment. This program is part of the Firewise team, which also completes hazard mitigation projects for Saguache County residents.