Fire and Emergency Info

Evacuation Checklist before an event
Evacuation Checklist during an event

Red Flag Warning

According to the National Weather Service, a Red Flag Warning means warm temperatures, very low humidities, and stronger winds are expected to combine to produce an increased risk of fire danger.  

  •  If you are allowed to burn in your area, all burn barrels must be covered with a weighted metal cover, with holes no larger than 3/4 of an inch.
  •  Do not throw cigarettes or matches out of a moving vehicle. They may ignite dry grass on the side of the road and become a wildfire.
  •  Extinguish all outdoor fires properly. Drown fires with plenty of water and stir to make sure everything is cold to the touch. Dunk charcoal in water until cold. Do not throw live charcoal on the ground and leave it.
  •  Never leave a fire unattended. Sparks or embers can blow into leaves or grass, ignite a fire, and quickly spread.

Wildfire Hazard Maps

Click here for maps specific to conditions in La Plata County. Maps include information about the wildfire hazard or likelihood of spread and intensity of a wildfire, and the mitigation difficulty uses life form (grass, shrub), slope and crown fire potential to classify the difficulty of completing mitigation for defensible space. Data for these maps was contributed by many federal, state and local agencies as well as private partners and public contributors.

Fire Restrictions Lifted - August 31, 2023

La Plata County, in accord with the San Juan National Forest, lifted fire restrictions effective 12:01 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 31. The rescinding applies to all unincorporated areas of the county excepting the municipalities of Durango, Bayfield and Ignacio.

While recent precipitation has lessened the risks of wildfire allowing local chiefs to make the decision to lift restrictions, there are many fuel areas that remain dry enough and are therefore a threat for lightning and human-caused fires. Residents should always follow best practices for fire safety:

    • Clear all flammable material within three feet of campfire rings
    • Make a fire only if you have a shovel and sufficient water to put it out
    • Never leave a fire unattended
    • Keep fires small and manageable
    • Extinguish fires completely. If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave. Every campfire should be put DEAD OUT before leaving it

Residents are strongly encouraged to register for CodeRED notifications for all emergencies in La Plata County. 

Learn about fire restrictions on the national forest and in surrounding counties and other jurisdictions.