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Mancos temporarily allows residents to burn yard waste

The town of Mancos about 20 miles east of Cortez. JERRY McBRIDE/Durango Herald
The Mancos Board of Trustees voted Wednesday to temporarily lift the town’s burn ban

The town of Mancos has lifted its temporary fire ban, allowing residents to burn yard waste through March 31.

The Mancos Board of Trustees voted Wednesday to allow the measure.

This allows for yard cleanup and wildfire mitigation, Mancos Town Administrator Heather Alvarez said.

And, in Southwest Colorado’s wet season, it is an ideal time to loosen fire restrictions, she said.

While the winter had a slow start, snowpack for the San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan River Basins is at 124% of its normal levels, according to Jan. 10 data from the Natural Resources Conservation Service Colorado

Nevertheless, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, all of Montezuma County is experiencing moderate drought, interjected by bands of severe and extreme drought. Just over 54% of the county is affected by severe drought, and about 23% is experiencing extreme drought, with conditions becoming progressively drier closer to the Arizona and Utah borders.

Montezuma County drought conditions as of Thursday. The map is updated each Thursday.

The Mancos Marshal’s Office and Mancos Public Works Department recommended the initiative to the board after the departments received many requests to do so, Alvarez said.

There are guidelines in place to ensure fires remain manageable and controlled.

Before burning, fires must be called into Cortez Dispatch at 970-565-8441.

While burning, fires must be supervised for the entirety of their blaze, until all embers and coals are extinguished.

While the ban is slated to resume April 1, unless further voted upon by the Mancos Board of Trustees, it could be reinstated beforehand if a red flag warning is issued or if Montezuma County implements a fire ban.

Violations could result in penalties in accordance with Mancos Municipal Code Section 7-9-50(e), according to a news release from the town.

Mancos Town Marshal Justen Goodall wasn’t immediately available for comment Friday morning.