Fire restrictions lifted

Northern region near Marble downgraded to stage 1

By Katherine Nettles

Gunnison County has lifted its stage 1 fire restrictions for the majority of the county, and downgraded the stage 2 fire restrictions for the northern region near Marble to stage 1.
Gunnison County undersheriff Scott Jackson and Emergency Manager Scott Morrill attended a meeting with commissioners on October 6, advising that their nearby federal land partners had removed their restrictions at the end of September, and that Gunnison County should follow suit.
“The BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and Forest Service (Grand Mesa Umcompahgre and Gunnison Ranger District) lifted their restrictions, and our governor allowed his restrictions to expire on September 30, so the Gunnison Basin meeting confirmed that we felt pretty comfortable removing ours as well,” said Morrill.
While the conversation did explore how there has been a lack of any real precipitation lately, the fire council has advised the county aligning again with what is going on in other areas.
“It’s still pretty dry out there,” he acknowledged. “But the BLM reported today that they have all their staff back from other fires now.
They have studied the ERC,” or Energy Release Component, a calculated output of the National Fire Danger Rating System, he said. “With cooler temperatures and the shorter days, it has minimized the dryness of our fuels,” said Morrill.
Commissioners passed one resolution for the northern area of Gunnison County to move from stage 2 to stage 1. They passed a second resolution to repeal stage 1 fire restrictions in the remainder of Gunnison County.
“Removing our restrictions does not mean there is no danger…it still warrants care,” said county commissioner Jonathan Houck as a reminder to all residents.
The changes are effective immediately.

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