Officially – monsoons are here

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Officially – monsoons are here

Thunderstorms in city’s forecast through the week
High-elevation fire restrictions eased

As of Wednesday, San Juan National Forest lands at elevations above 8,500 feet will not be under any fire restrictions, while lower and middle elevation portions will be eased to Stage 1 restrictions, which include:
Campfires are limited to permanent fire rings or grates within developed campgrounds.
Smoking is limited to vehicles, buildings, developed recreation sites or 3-foot-wide areas cleared of vegetation.
Acetylene and other torches with an open flame are prohibited.
Use of explosives is prohibited.
The restriction boundary line bisects the national forest from east to west, following identifiable jurisdictional boundaries, roads and trails at about 8,500 feet. Only those areas south of the line will be under the above-described Stage 1 restrictions.
Also, fire managers recommend these safety measures, even in areas not under restrictions:
Dispose of cigarette butts in an ashtray or other appropriate container.
Make sure chain saws and other internal-combustion engines have approved, working spark arresters. Carry water, a shovel and fire extinguisher with you and operate within areas clear of flammable materials.
Park vehicles in areas clear of vegetation.
In higher-elevation areas where backcountry campfires are allowed, use established fire rings in areas clear of vegetation. Have a shovel and water handy, and put campfires out completely every time you leave camp. Pour water on the ashes and stir until there is no smoke and ashes are cool to the touch. Consider using a camp stove if possible.
Fireworks are never allowed on federal lands, even where restrictions are not in place.

West Fork Complex update

The West Fork Complex, three fires in the mountains between Pagosa Springs and Creede, was 66 percent contained as of late Sunday, the U.S. Forest Service said.
Fire activity has been minimal in recent days. The fires are burning in heavy stands of beetle-killed spruce and fir in the San Juan and Rio Grande national forests and on private land.
Although the arrival of monsoon rains has gone a long way toward clearing the air, smoke from the fires can be expected to be visible for the next several days to weeks.
The fires, the result of lightning strikes on June 5, cover 109,615 acres – the West Fork Fire, 58,570 acres, the Papoose Fire, 49,628 acres, and the Windy Pass Fire, 1,417 acres.
U.S. Highway 160 and Colorado Highway 149 are open.

Officially – monsoons are here

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