News Flash

Summit County Government

Posted on: June 12, 2021

County, Fire Districts Urge Caution as First Wildfires of the Season Ignite

Current fire restrictions

Summit County moves to very high risk of wildfire; conditions not yet met for implementation of Fire Restrictions

Contact: Nicole Valentine, Director of Communications, Summit County

SUMMIT COUNTY – Summit County and local fire districts all urge caution as the community entered into wildfire season with the outbreak of multiple fires Thursday and Friday due to heat and lack of humidity in the region. 

The outbreaks prompted the Towns of Dillon, Frisco, and Silverthorne to enter Stage 1 restrictions Friday. Summit County, the U.S. Forest Service, and other local towns have not yet taken this step. Summit County amended its adopted Fire Code earlier this year in order to better align with the U.S. Forest Service and simplify communications regarding fire restrictions. 

The Fire Restriction Process utilized by Summit County and the U.S. Forest Service monitors the following conditions in determining when to implement Stage 1 restrictions:

  • Energy release component 90-96% last 5 days with representative sig groups 
  • High human caused risk
  • Live fuel moistures are at or approaching historic thresholds 
  • No significant relief in fire weather forecast during the next 7 days

At the present time, Summit County has only met one of the four restrictions above: Live fuel moistures are at or approaching historic thresholds. Significant heat, wind, and lack of moisture this year have moved the county into very high risk for wildfire conditions.

County officials anticipate that if hot, dry weather persists the fire restriction criteria could be met early next week. At that time, County officials anticipate a recommendation from the Sheriff and local fire districts to move to Stage 1 and expect the USFS would likely do the same.

“Our goal around fire restrictions is to follow our Fire Restriction Process that is shared by the USFS and is part of our annual fire Operating Plan and referenced in an Intergovernmental Agreement with the local towns,” said Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons. “Of course the towns can choose to go into restrictions sooner if they feel it is appropriate, and several have done so.”

"We are urging our community to be especially cautious with the current wildfire risk and to exercise personal responsibility to avoid any potential fires,” added FitzSimons. “More than 80 percent of wildfires are caused by humans. It’s important to understand wildfire prevention strategies related to camping, campfires, driving, outdoor equipment use, smoking, and shooting among other activities.”

For more information about Summit County’s wildfire prevention measures, visit www.SummitCountyCO.gov/wildfire.

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