Recent rain and cooler temperatures have eased the fire danger in Mesa County. As a result, the Mesa County Sheriff's Office, Bureau of Land Management, and the Mesa County Fire Chief's Association are lifting the Stage 1 Fire Restrictions as of Friday, August 4.

Does this mean you can run right out and shoot off fireworks on federal lands? In a word, no. Fireworks are never permitted on federal land. For that matter, wood fires are never allowed on the Colorado National Monument.

As you are no doubt aware, the summer of 2017 started off as a couple of very dry and hot months. Last week's rains, combined with the National Weather Service's forecast of cooler temperatures and more rain in the coming week, obviously help in the matter.

Does this mean we're out of the woods? Not hardly. Wildfires in Mesa County are still possible. You are asked to remain cautious when it comes to activities which could potentially ignite a fire.

Is Mesa County alone in lifting fire restrictions? Some surrounding counties will lift or change current restrictions. In the event you're traveling around the area soon, be sure to ask the current conditions of the country you're in.

Where can you go for more info? Check out the State Office of Emergency Management website. You'll find a statewide map indicating fire bans.

I don't know about you, but I can breathe a little easier now. I was really getting worried there for a minute. Recent road trips to Nevada and Oregon came complete with more wildfires than you could keep track of. Fortunately, the situation wasn't nearly so bad here in Colorado. With a little luck and a degree of caution, Mesa County can make it through the remainder of the summer without incident.