Colorful Sunrise at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

Colorful Sunrise at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Photo Credit: Jose A Feliciano Cestero (iStock).

Mountain campfires are now allowed in parts of Colorado thanks to the recent heavy spells of monsoon rain.

Editor's Note: Fire conditions and bans are subject to rapidly change. This article will not. Check with you local fire rules prior to sparking any fire.

Fire restrictions, some which have been in place for the majority of the summer now, have officially been lifted for multiple counties and a national forest due to much-needed rains dropping fire danger ratings to "moderate" including the San Juan National Forest.

Some fire restrictions for all lands managed by the Rio Grande National Forest, Bureau of Land Management San Luis Valley Field Office, and Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve, also ended this week. The lift means that campfires are now allowed in designated fire grates in developed campgrounds managed by each of the agencies and when dispersed camping on lands managed by the Rio Grande National Forest and San Luis Valley Field Office.

“Although conditions are improving, visitors should be mindful that their actions can still cause an unwanted wildfire,” warned Chad Lewis, Fire Management Officer for the Rio Grande National Forest. 

Here are a few safety tips from the National Park Service on outdoor fires.

• Clear all burnable material within three feet of campfire rings.

• Keep fires small and manageable.

• Never leave a fire unattended.

• Extinguish fires completely. If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.

• Fireworks are always illegal on federally managed lands.

Editor's Note: While fire danger has decreased in some areas of the state, it may still remain high for others. Changes in terrain, fuels, and weather can rapidly increase fire danger. Before venturing out, be sure to always check for local fire restrictions or bans in place. 

Breanna Sneeringer writes about news, adventure, and more for OutThere Colorado as a Digital Content Producer. She is an avid adventure seeker and wildflower enthusiast. Breanna joined OutThere Colorado in September 2018.


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