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Durango enters fire restrictions ahead of Memorial Day weekend

Open fires of any kind are banned within city until further notice
The Perins Peak Fire as seen Tuesday from the Florida Mesa south of Durango. (Courtesy of Dan Bender)

Durango City Manager José Madrigal ordered fire and smoking restrictions that took immediate effect Thursday afternoon as firefighters continued to battle the Perins Peak Fire west of town.

The restrictions prohibit any and all open fires and burning of any kind within city limits, excluding charcoal and propane grills, according to a news release issued Thursday.

The restrictions also limit smoking in areas not enclosed by a building or a vehicle or within 3 feet of flammable plant life.

Madrigal said he made the call to enact fire restrictions because of the Perins Peak Fire, weekend weather forecast and current environmental factors in Durango. He said it is a great time to enact restrictions to match La Plata County’s effort in reducing the potential for fires.

“We’re going to continue to be proactive and monitor the situation,” he said.

He will keep an eye on the weather, including potential rainfall, and gauge the need for restrictions based on current conditions.

The order will remain in effect until the city manager revokes it.

The order was issued a day ahead of red flag warnings issued by the National Weather Service Grand Junction office going into effect on Friday and Saturday.

On May 17, City Council approved an emergency ordinance granting the city manager authority to enact fire restrictions within city limits.

The ordinance allows Madrigal to restrict fire uses so the city can respond quickly to developments such as red flag warnings and new wildfires that drain firefighting resources.

La Plata County previously entered Stage 1 fire restrictions on May 19. Those restrictions prohibit open fires, restrict smoking and ban fireworks and like materials on county land and in unincorporated parts of the county, according to a news release.

cburney@durangoherald.com

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