Sep 092003
 
Authors: James Baetke

County commissioners lifted a fire ban in Larimer County ending fire and smoking restrictions due to the recent moisture the region has experienced.

The announcement came Sept. 4, two days after the Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland’s decided to lift their campfire and smoking restrictions.

John Bustos, the public affairs officer for the forest service, said the ban was a “cooperative decision” with Larimer County. Recent precipitation, humidity levels, moisture and available resources were contributing factors to lifting the ban.

“We felt we had the resources to handle the situation,” Bustos said, referring to the resources needed in the case of a fire.

Larimer County enacted the ban on July 21, which was set to continue through the end of September as a result to hot temperatures and abundant fuel from a wet spring, according to a county news release.

Larimer County and the forest service stress those who enjoy campfires should continue to act responsibly to avoid man-made wild fires in the future.

“(The forest service) would never advocate carelessness with fire. People need to be aware we’ve had three years of drought and a rough summer,” Bustos said.

Rodney Ley, a coordinator with the CSU Outdoor Adventure Program, says the ban doesn’t affect the activities his groups take on. Students take part in backpacking, rock climbing and other outdoor activities.

“Philosophically we don’t need fire,” Ley said.

Ley strongly believes in leaving no trace behind while taking part in nature and not building a campfire would be a large component to that. Additionally, Ley said fires are unneeded and add pollution to the environment.

Sophomore Jonelle Rich said she is a frequent hiker and camper and will directly benefit from the lifting of the fire ban.

“Having campfires again will make it easier to cook food and be warm,” Rich said.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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