On Tuesday the Teller County Sheriff’s Office announced that the county would begin operating under Stage 3 Fire Restrictions.
It means no fires or heat sources of any kind can be outside.
The latest restrictions are impacting campers at Mueller State Park. Officials there say the county has been under a Stage 2 Fire Ban for awhile. Under that, people could still use gas or propane grills and electric hot plates. However, under Stage 3, those things are no longer allowed either.
Camper Myla Oregel said, "We use a gas stove every time we go camping."
Cooking food outside is a time-honored camping tradition, but with the county’s new ban the heat needs to stay indoors.
Aiden Forbes said, "We couldn’t have s’mores or cook the pizza outside. It was kind of disappointing because we were banking on that.”
Mueller State Park Ranger Parrish Watson worked quickly on Tuesday to get the word out to the entire campground.
Watson said, "We started updating our signs to reflect what is restricted in the Stage 3 and right now we do have four staff members that are out, going through our campground."
Those staff members handed out flyers to people with information on the new restrictions.
Watson said, "If you are in an RV or have a camper, which most of our guests at this time do have those, they’re still okay cooking inside. If you’re tent camping you’re not going to be able to use any type of outdoor heat source."
Myla Oregel said, "We could actually have s’mores on our inside stove in our camper so s’mores isn’t a big failure, but the pizzas kind of are."
Doug Risse, another camper at the state park, said, "We do have sandwiches and we have water bottles, and we have drinks so we’re going to be fine."
While the ban is forcing campers to rethink how they’ll eat they’re looking at the bigger picture.
Forbes said, “We are kind of considerate of the fire and we don’t to lose this beautiful forest around us.”