With the arrival of Memorial Day weekend, a reminder that burn restrictions are in effect in several Colorado communities.
Many areas restricted fires at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to help enforce social distancing recommendations.
Under a restriction in effect in Colorado Springs since April 17, the following are not permitted within city limits:
- Recreational fires
- Open or prescribed burns
- Outdoor smoking in all city parks and open spaces
- Small internal combustion engines operated without a properly installed, maintained, and fuctioning spar arrestor
- Recreational fireworks/devices requiring ignition, such as sparklers, snakes, aerials, comets, flares, flyers, fountains,missiles, mortars, spinners, punks, rockets, shells, etc. (those items are prohibited at all times)
- Trash/rubbish burning
The following are allowed in Colorado Springs:
- Select pyrotechnic or commercial activities may be allowed after an approved review, inspection, and permit issued by CSFD
- Hot work like welding, brazing, blasting, and torching in forested or grassy areas after an approved review and/or inspection with a permit issued by CSFD
- Portable or fixed fireplaces and fire appliances intended for outdoor use: Shall maintain a minimum clearance of 15 feet between the device and combustible structures, fences, vegetation (No clearance requirements fo permanent outdoor appliances installed in accordance with current code or at single-family dwellings); shall only be fueled by wood, pellets, charcoal, liquid propane gas, or natural gas; shall utilize spark arrestors (when fueled by wood, pellets, or charcoal); shall constantly be attended by a capable adult with a means of extinguishing
- Cooking devices intended for outdoor use fueled by solid materials (wood, pellets, or charcoal), liquid propane gas, natural gas, and/or liquid fuel: Shall maintain a minimum clearance of 15 feet between the device and combustible structures, fences, vegetation (No clearance); shall constantly be attended by a capable adult with a means of extinguishing; shall dispose of waste in noncombustible containers with lids tightly secured
In Pueblo County, a Stage 1 Fire Restriction remains in place.
Under that restriction open burning is not permitted, with the exception of charcoal grills and fires and campfires created in developed camp and picnic grounds.
Stage 1 also restricts the sale or use of fireworks without a permit and outdoor smoking, except inside a vehicle or stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter with no flammable materials present.
Violations can lead to fines and mandatory court appearances.
In Teller County a Stage 1 Fire Ban went into effect May 1 due to high fire danger. Under that ban open burning is banned on private and public lands, except for the following:
- Use of charcoal grills, gas barbecues, liquid fueled gas stoves or lanterns, all at least 10 feet from combustible materials
- Campfires that are contained in a permanent fire ring in developed and designated picnic and/or campgrounds on public or private lands for public use.
- Campfires contained in designated fire rings, or permanent brick and mortar fire piets, or fire grates on other private property not used for public picnic areas or campgrounds
- Designated fire rings, pits, and grates must be at least 25 feet away from all structures, less than 3 feet in diameter or 3 feet in length and width, and at least 18 inches deep. A water supply or other approved means of extinguishing must be available. Campfires must be attended by a person who knows how to use equipment to fully extinguish the fire
- Fires in fireplaces inside buildings in teller County
- Use of chainsaws with approved fire extinguishing/fire extinguisher readily available
- Outdoor welding or cutting with approved fire extinguishing/fire extinguisher readily available
- Smoking in areas clear of all flammable or combustible materials, or designated smoking areas
The following are not permitted in Teller county:
- Burning materials not contained in an outdoor fireplace or permanent fire ring
- Use of any explosives (except for permitted mining operations)
- Use of fireworks of any type (except commercial fireworks within city limits)
- Firing of model rockets
- Burning of irrigation ditches unless completely surrounded by irrigated farmlands where burning is necessary for crop survival
Below is a map of all Colorado counties with burn restrictions or bans currently in effect: