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Fire Restrictions Increase on Federal Lands

6/23/2022

Persistent drought has caused severe fire weather conditions, so area agencies have moved to Stage 2 fire restrictions. That means no fires whatsoever. This story is sponsored by the law firm of Downs, McDonough, Cowan and Foley Serving Southwest Colorado and TruWest Auto

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Lack of precipitation and hot windy days have prompted the San Juan National Forest to increase fire restrictions. The City of Cortez and the Ute Mountain Casino line out Independence Day celebrations. And the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute Indian tribes receive federal funding for seven clean water improvement projects. You're watching the Local News Roundup brought to you by TruWest Auto and the law firm of Downs, McDonough, Cowan and Foley, serving Southwest Colorado. I'm Hannah Robertson. Severe fire weather conditions have forced the San Juan National Forest to move to stage two fire restrictions. That means all fires, including fires in developed recreation sites, charcoal grills, and barbecues, coal and wood burning stoves, and sheepherder stoves are prohibited. Campers may use liquid fueled stoves, grills, and lanterns. Smoking is limited to an enclosed vehicle or building. Welding or operation of any torches with an open flame is prohibited. Spark arresters must be used with any type of internal combustion engine and on chainsaws. Motor vehicles must stay on established roads, motorized trails, or established parking areas, or in areas devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the vehicle. And all explosives, including fireworks are prohibited. Stage two fire restrictions also apply to Bureau of Land Management lands, Mesa Verde National Park, the Southern Ute Indian Reservation, and La Plata County. Montezuma County has had a fire ban in place since May. The Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute Indian tribes will receive more than $4 million in federal infrastructure grants to improve water treatment and delivery systems on the reservations. Colorado senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennett made the announcement earlier this month after the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure law. The bill included $3.4 billion for tribal projects nationwide. The Southern Utes will receive $1.6 million for sewer main improvements, a pump station to replace the Ignacio Mountain Lagoon, and will replace cast iron water pipes. The Ute Mountain Utes will receive $2.5 million to build sanitation facilities and transfer station, improve the Towaoc water distribution system, and replace water lines. To learn more, visit Bennet's official Senate website at bennet.senate.gov. Both the Ute Mountain Casino and the City of Cortez will hold celebrations during the July 4th weekend. The casino will host its annual July 3rd celebration beginning with a free afternoon of activities that will include food vendors, a mini carnival, and live entertainment brought by local tribal country band Dennis Yazzie and the Nightbreeze that will perform from 4:00 to 7:00 PM. The Troubadour Experience, a George Strait tribute band, will perform from 7:30 to 9:00 PM, and a large fireworks display will begin at dusk. For more information, visit utemountaincasino.com. The City of Cortez will host its traditional July 4th celebration on Monday, the actual holiday. The Four Corners Community Band will perform at 6:00 PM at Centennial Park. Food and drink vendors will be on hand for refreshments. The Cortez Fire Protection District will launch the firework show at around 9:00 PM at Parque de Vida. The show typically lasts around 45 minutes. To learn more, visit cortezco.gov. Thanks for watching this edition of the Local News Roundup. I'm Hannah Robertson.

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