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Recent dry conditions prompted Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze to implement Stage 1 fire restrictions effective at 8 a.m., Sept. 24 for unincorporated Chaffee County.

The long-range weather forecast predicts little to no moisture for Chaffee County, a press release stated.

Spezze said he made the decision after conferring with Salida Fire Chief Doug Bess, Chaffee County Fire Protection District Chief Robert Bertram and the U.S. Forest Service.

Stage 1 fire restrictions prohibit building, maintaining or attending any open fire.

Excluded from Stage 1 fire restrictions, and therefore still allowed, are:

• Campfires within a permanent constructed ring or fire grate, 3 feet in diameter maximum, in a developed public campground, public picnic ground, commercial campground or on private property. An example of a permanently constructed ring would be a cement ring that is not movable. Rocks lining a fire pit are not considered permanent and therefore in violation.

• Liquid propane gas or liquid fueled stoves that allow the operator to turn the appliance on or off.

• Fireplaces within enclosed buildings equipped with fire screens on the flue.

• Charcoal grill fires at private residences.

Burning of debris piles, slash piles, ditches and agricultural lands is also prohibited.

The fire ban does not include the incorporated municipalities of Salida, Buena Vista and Poncha Springs.

It also does not include any federal land under Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management jurisdiction.

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