Rangers with the Pike and San Isabel National Forests are reminding the public that only place where you can have a campfire is in fixed, metal fire ring placed in developed campground areas. The US Forest Service implemented Stage 1 Fire restriction because of the hot dry conditions that exist in our forests. Yet rangers still found 212 illegal or abandoned campfires across the South Park, Pikes Peak, Salida and San Carlos Ranger Districts during the Memorial Day Weekend.
Open campfires that are started dispersed or non-developed back-country areas are prohibited. Only portable gas stoves or lanterns with a shut-off valve are allowed. Anyone caught starting an illegal campfire can face a $5,000 fine. If the illegal campfire causes a wildfire, then the responsible party can be held liable for the suppression costs associated with controlling that fire.
"We urge all Forest users to be aware of extreme fire danger and check for restrictions prior to visiting," said Barbara Timock, Public Affairs Officer.