Fire restrictions could be in place for Colorado weekend destinations

Firefighters on federal land. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Flickr)

Firefighters on federal land. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Flickr)

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo

If you’re planning on spending this weekend outside the Denver Metro Area, there could be a few restrictions and advisories in place you need to know about.

State officials are encouraging people making weekend plans to check potential restrictions with several wildfires in Colorado causing road closures and air quality advisories in the southern part of the state.

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management spokesperson Micki Trost said 98 percent of the state is “open and ready for people to visit” but there are a few places that should be avoided.

The state’s Division of Fire Prevention and Control website lists 10 current wildfires in Colorado, the largest being the Spring Fire in Costilla and Huerfano Counties. The fire is now 103,357 acres in size and is only 5 percent contained.

This massive fire has caused some road closures for portions of U.S. Highway 160 and Colorado Highway 69, the state’s emergency management said in a post on Twitter It’s led to multiple evacuations and is already the third-largest fire in state history, according to CPR.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife southwest region spokesperson Joe Lewandowski said in an email Thursday that all state parks are open, but water is low at the reservoirs.

“As for fishing, we’re asking river anglers to pay attention to the water temperature,” Lewandowski said in an email. “If it’s 70 or above, they should leave the trout alone. Best to go to creeks at high elevations. They can usually inquire at a local fly shops about conditions.”

Other than that, Lewandowski wants to remind people to have fun, but make sure you stay hydrated, don’t drink and boat, and wear a life jacket while in the water.

Trost encourages people making weekend plans to check CDOT’s website for road closures. There are also restrictions in place for nearly every county in the state.

“There are fire restrictions across a large portion of the state, just make sure you double check where you’re visiting,” Trost said. Activities like hiking and camping shouldn’t be disrupted in most areas, though Trost recommends visiting the state’s tourism website, Colorado.com, to find possible alternatives.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on Thursday issued an Air Quality Health Advisory for wildfire smoke for four wildfires in the state, including Spring Fire. The advisory is in effect until Friday morning at 9 a.m.

This map also shows where smoke may be affecting air quality.