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Town of Dolores lifts open-fire ban

The town of Dolores voted Tuesday to revoke its ban on open fires. Pictured in May, the Hawkins fire smoldered in the McElmo Creek area south of Cortez and Hawkins Preserve. Crews were mopping up and monitoring the blaze. (Courtesy of Dolores Fire Department)
The town follows in the footsteps of Montezuma County’s Aug. 3 move to revoke its fire ban

The town of Dolores unanimously voted at a board meeting Tuesday night to lift its open-fire ban.

The ban was enacted June 14 amid a peak of sweltering heat and drought in the Four Corners area.

The Dolores Board of Trustees adopted the resolution to lift the ban July 9. It discussed dropping the restrictions at an Aug. 9 board meeting, but deferred the decision until Tuesday, favoring a waiting period to further observe weather conditions.

Montezuma County lifted its fire ban Aug. 3.

Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin made that announcement in a news release “with the understanding that our citizens and visitors will be cautious and responsible with open fires and maintain control of all fires to prevent them from becoming out of control”.

Aug 8, 2022
Montezuma County lifts fire ban

At the Aug. 9 meeting, the Dolores board expressed concern that perhaps the county ban was lifted too early, and would go back into effect if humidity levels plummeted.

Because there are only two town board meetings a month, if conditions changed and the county fire ban was reinstated, it could potentially be two weeks before the board was able to meet and make a further decision, they said at the meeting.

Aug. 2, Nowlin wrote a letter to the board requesting their removal of the fire ban, “due to the improved weather conditions that have brought much needed moisture over the past several weeks with expected additional moisture to be received.”

La Plata County lifted its stage one fire restrictions July 27. The San Juan National Forest lifted its fire restrictions July 22.