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Mountain Manners: Campfires

We love a good fire in Gunnison and Crested Butte; its hard to beat a campfire on a Colorado summer day. Before building a fire its important to know if there are any burn restrictions in place. These could apply only to specific areas or the state/county as a whole. For the state of Colorado, information on current wildfires can be found on the Colorado Wildfire Information Center.

Family camping in a designated camping area.
Slate River Valley
Crested Butte, CO

Before you build a fire there are a few questions you should ask to ensure you’re following Leave No Trace. The 5th principle of Leave No Trace is Minimize Campfire Impacts.

  • How could this fire damage the backcountry?
  • Are there any fire dangers because of the time of year and location you’re in?
  • Are any burn bans in place?
  • Will wood removal be noticeable? Do conditions allow for the wood supply to replenish?

Family camping in a designated camping area.
Slate River Valley
Crested Butte, CO

Make your decision about building a fire accordingly based on your answers to these questions. It is very important to follow proper fire guidelines to ensure safety and preservation. The goal of minimizing campfire impacts is to make sure the areas you’re building fires in can replenish their wood supply and wildfire impacts are minimized. It is best to only build fires in existing rings. If you step away put it out completely with water (dirt may not extinguish it fully).

Please follow the rules set out by Gunnison County and if you have questions, don’t hesitate to call the Sheriff’s Office at (970) 641-1113.


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