Summit County Emergency Blog

Activated during disasters and emergencies to provide critical public information. Administered by the Summit County Office of Emergency Management.

Jun 28

Summit County Board of County Commissioners Adopt Stage 2 Fire Restrictions

Posted on June 28, 2018 at 5:58 PM by Erin Opsahl

Summit County Board of County Commissioners Adopt Stage 2 Fire Restrictions
Additional restrictions placed on open fires

Scott Vargo, Summit County Manager: 970-485-1880
Erin Opsahl, Summit County Sheriff's Office: 970-423-8901

SUMMIT COUNTY – A resolution imposing Stage 2 level fire restrictions was enacted today by the Summit County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) at the request of the Summit County Sheriff Jaime Fitzsimons and with the concurrence of local fire districts.

The BOCC first adopted Stage 1 level fire restrictions on June 12, 2018.  The resolution adopted today places additional restrictions on open fires within Summit County due to the increasingly dangerous fire conditions, extremely dry forest conditions and the existence of wildfires regionally, including neighboring Grand County and Park County.

The Stage 2 level restrictions adopted by the BOCC regulate “open burning” as follows:

The term “open burning” means any outdoor fire, including but not limited to campfires, warming fires, charcoal grill fires, explosives, fireworks, and any other activity that poses a significant risk of starting a fire.  In addition, the following activities are expressly prohibited to the extent not otherwise prohibited above:  
i. Disposing of any burning object outdoors, including without limitation cigarettes, marijuana, cigars or matches.
ii. Selling fireworks.
iii. Operating a chainsaw without an approved spark arrester, 5 gallons of water, a 2A10BC classified dry chemical fire extinguisher and a round point shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches. The fire extinguisher will be immediately accessible to the equipment operator. The water and shovel may be kept with fueling supplies but readily available for use.
iv. Welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame outdoors.
v. Inflating or propelling hot air balloons.
vi. Smoking is prohibited, except in an enclosed vehicle or building.

EXEMPTIONS.  The term “open burning” does not include fires in:
i. Liquid-fueled or gas-fueled stoves, grills or lanterns that include shut-off valves, which are permitted when used in an area at least three feet or more from flammable materials such as grasses or pine needles.
ii. Fireplaces contained within buildings.    
In addition to the Stage 2 level restrictions the Summit County Public Shooting Range has also been closed indefinitely.

"Summit County residents are keenly aware of our considerable wildfire risks and increased restrictions are necessary to reduce that risk within our community," County Commissioner Dan Gibbs said.

The full text of the approved Resolution 2018-39 is available here
Jun 28

Smoke Message for Grand/Clear Creek Fire June 28, 2018

Posted on June 28, 2018 at 5:14 PM by Erin Opsahl

Wildfire Smoke in Summit County
Light to moderate smoke not expected to be significant health concern
Dan Hendershott, Environmental Health Manager: 970-668-4073
Amy Wineland, Public Health Director: 970-9195
SUMMIT COUNTY - Because of wildfire activity in Grand/Clear Creek Counties, smoke is present. Summit County is currently experiencing good to moderate smoke levels which are not expected to be a significant health concern.  Smoke densities may increase overnight depending on fire activity and weather.  
If wildfire smoke causes visibility to be less than 5 miles in your neighborhood, smoke levels are unhealthy. References of 5-mile visibility are as follows:
•         If you are in downtown Dillon or Frisco and unable to see Buffalo Mountain
•         If you are in Breckenridge and unable to see the mountain tops above the ski area

If smoke becomes thick, in your neighborhood, you may want to remain indoors. This is especially true for those with heart disease, respiratory illnesses, the very young, the elderly and pregnant women. To mitigate exposure to smoke, public health officials recommend that residents and visitors, especially high-risk individuals, take the following precautions:
•         Limit outdoor activities and remain indoors with windows and doors closed.
•         Consider relocating temporarily if smoke is present indoors and is making you ill.
•         Drink plenty of fluids to keep your respiratory membranes moist.
•         Reduce your physical activity to decrease inhalation of airborne pollutants.
•         If you develop symptoms suggestive of lung or heart problems, including chest pain or tightness, shortness of breath or extreme fatigue, consult a medical provider as soon as possible.
For more information, contact 970 668-9730. Statewide air quality information is available from Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment at www.colorado.gov/airquality/wildfire.aspx.

Jun 17

Buffalo Fire 95% contained! Pre-evacuation order lifted.

Posted on June 17, 2018 at 11:58 AM by Julie Sutor

Buffalo Fire Information
Lisa Loncar-Incident Commander
Sunday June 17, 2018, 10:30 a.m.
Press Contact: Bill Jackson, District Ranger, 970-389-2460

Buffalo Fire 95% contained; crews continue securing fire perimeter  
Containment: 95 %
Total Personnel: 28
Acres: 81
Start Date: June 12, 2018
Cause: Under investigation
Location: 2 miles west of Silverthorne, CO

Summary: This morning, management of the Buffalo Fire transitioned to a local Type 4 Incident Management Team. The fire is now 95 percent contained and received some rain last night and this morning, which is helping to cool smoldering hot spots within the fire perimeter.

The Summit County Sheriff's Office has lifted all evacuation orders, effective 11 a.m., Sunday, June 17. There are no evacuation or pre-evacuation orders in place.

Today, crews are diligently patrolling the fire area and mopping-up by extinguishing any smoldering hot spots along the perimeter. Fire behavior continues to be minimal, with the potential for occasional smoldering and smoking from the interior of the fire for several more days. 

“We thank the public in advance for adhering to the closure order and remaining completely out of the fire area while crews continue working,” said Bill Jackson, District Ranger. “There are still smoldering hot spots within the fire perimeter that may continue to produce smoke; additionally there are fire-weakened trees, stump holes and ongoing fire operations.”

Trail Closures: The Buffalo Mountain trail, Royal Buffalo trail, Buffalo Cabin trail, Buffalo-Willow Connect trail, the Pasque trail and all other trails or access points that enter the fire area remain closed for public safety. The District is evaluating damage to these trails that may have occurred during the fire and determining next steps for potential rehabilitation and/or restoration.

Volunteer Opportunities: For those interested in helping with future trail restoration efforts, please contact the Friends of Dillon Ranger District at 970-626-3449 or Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness at 303-903-7127. 

Trail Openings: All other trails previously closed are now open: North Tenmile trail, Meadow Creek trail, Lily Pad trail, Gore Range (north Tenmile to the junction of north Willowbrook trail), Salt Lick trail system, Mesa Cortina trail system, Willowbrook trail system, and the area of Red Buffalo Pass. 

Fire Information:
Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5841/ 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/2018BuffaloFire/ 
Twitter: @SummitCountyGov or @WhiteRiverNews
Fire Information Phone: 970-414-1632 or 970 -468-5400
General Questions for Summit County Sheriff’s Office: 970-453-2232