COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — Favorable weather conditions allowed forestry officials to ease fire restrictions in the Pike and San Isabel National Forests and Comanche National Grasslands.
In the Pike forest, restrictions were lowered from Stage Two to Stage One. Campfires are allowed, but they can only be used in the fire grates installed by the Forest Service in developed campgrounds.
All restrictions were lifted in the Comanche National Grasslands as well as the parts of the San Isabel National Forest that are managed by the ranger districts in Salida and Leadville.
The parts of the San Isabel forest managed by the San Carlos Ranger District remains under Stage 1 restrictions. The San Carlos Ranger District covers areas in Pueblo, Fremont, Custer, Huerfano, and Costilla Counties. There are also local fire bans in place in Teller County.
Dawn Sanchez, a fire prevention specialist with the national forest service, encourages campers to check local restrictions before heading out.
"The long-term forecast also is showing a dry fall and a drier winter as well. So, these fire restrictions could change at any time," Sanchez said. "It just depends on the weather conditions and how the pattern is looking."
The Forest Service looks at multiple variables when making decisions about fire restrictions. Some are weather-related like precipitation, wind events, relative humidity levels, temperatures, expected weather patterns. Other variables include fuel dryness, drought conditions, and a lack of firefighting resources.
The forest service created a web-site where campers can get for up-to-date fire restriction information.