Fire and Emergency Info


La Plata County returns to Stage 1 fire restrictions

La Plata County Sheriff Sean Smith, acting on the recommendation of area fire chiefs and in accord with the U.S. Forest Service, Southern Ute Indian Tribe and other regional entities, will return to Stage 1 Fire Restrictions in La Plata County effective Friday, June 24.

Recent rains prompted the decision to scale back the restrictions from Stage 2 to Stage 1, but regional drought conditions mean that fire risk can return quickly once the rains have ceased. Fire restrictions help agencies and the community reduce fire risk and prevent fires during periods of high or extreme fire danger.

The following acts are prohibited in the unincorporated areas of La Plata County and upon all lands owned by La Plata County, excluding those private lands in the Towns of Bayfield and Ignacio, the City of Durango, or any Federal or Tribal lands:


  • Open burning, burn barrels and agricultural burning except by agricultural producers as provided for in C.R.S. §30-15-401(n.5)(111) and defined in C.R.S. §35-28-104(11); provided however, that such agricultural burning is permitted only with 24 hours prior notification to the appropriate fire chief or the Sheriff of La Plata County; and


  •  Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, coal or wood burning stove, any type of charcoal fueled broiler, or open fire of any type in undeveloped areas, except that, as long as not left unattended and fully extinguished after use, the use of charcoal or gas barbecue grills at private residences or fires in a designated campground or inside established metal fire rings with a grate cover on private property are not prohibited; and


  • Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, in a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area that is at least 3 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable vegetation; and


  • Using explosive material (i.e., fireworks, blasting caps, or any incendiary device which may result in the ignition of flammable material), except blasting in development areas or construction areas with continuous fire watch if written authorization is obtained from the appropriate fire chief in whose jurisdiction such activity is to take place or the Sheriff of La Plata County; and


  •  Local community fireworks displays.