2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Know your fire restrictions for 4th of July

Published: July 3, 2013, 3:56 pm, by Ryan Handy

With a few serious wildfires raging across Colorado, many of the state’s counties have enacted fire bans or restrictions of some kind. 

The Colorado Office of Emergency Management has an interactive map with the fire restrictions for each county–check it out and see if your Independence Day destination has fire restrictions.

Currently, El Paso County has Stage I fire restrictions in place, which means you can’t (according to the Sheriff’s Office website):

  • Have open burning such as campfires and warming fires (except in permanently constructed fire grates in developed campgrounds and picnic grounds), charcoal grills and outdoor wood burning stoves (except at private residences in areas cleared of all flammable materials),  use explosives, outdoor welding or use acetylene or other torch with open flame other than in an area cleared of all flammable materials. Fires contained within liquid-fueled or gas-fueled stoves are permitted.
  • Use fireworks of all kinds.
  • Smoke outdoors except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.

Teller County has Stage II fire restrictions in place, which effectively ban all types of open burning, on public or private lands. 

That means you can:

  • Use  gas, liquid or propane barbecues, gas stoves or lanterns that are at least 10 feet away from combustible walls or roofs, or other combustible materials.
  • Use of chainsaws with approved fire-extinguishing equipment readily available.

And you can’t:

  • Have campfires
  • Fires in chiminea, outdoor fireplaces, and any other portable fireplaces or patio fire pits.
  • Use charcoal grills
  • Use wood or charcoal smokers
  • Do outdoor welding or cuttinng
  • Smoke (except inside vehicles)
  • Burn slash piles or any wood debris
  • Use any explosives (except for permitted mining operations)
  • Use fireworks of any type (except commercial fireworks within city limits)
  • Fire model rockets
  • Burn irrigation ditches unless they are completely surrounded by irrigated farmlands where burning is necessary for crop survival.

Read more about the Teller County fire restrictions here.