COLORADO — Fire Restrictions have been ordered for all unincorporated areas of El Paso County, Pueblo County and Teller County due to the extreme fire danger rating.
The restrictions were set in place due to gusty winds, low humidity values, dry conditions, and the National Weather Service's forecast for continued dry and warmer than normal weather.
According to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, one spark has the potential to quickly spread into a dangerous wildfire.
The following activities are prohibited under the restrictions:
- Open fire and burning, except;
- Fires and campfires within permanently constructed fire grates in developed campgrounds and picnic grounds, or private residences in areas cleared at least 3’ of all flammable materials.
- Fires in developed campgrounds and picnic grounds, or private residences contained within liquid-fueled or gas-fueled stoves, fire pits or appliances; liquid propane, or natural gas; cleared at least 3 feet of all flammable materials, with flames lengths not exceeding 2 feet.
- Fires for which a permit has been obtained by the local fire protection district dating after the restriction date.
- Fireworks or explosive materials cannot be used or sold. This includes "exploding" targets or bullets and tracer rounds.
- Outdoor smoking except within an enclosed vehicle or building, developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that doesn't have any flammable materials. Exercise industry safety practices when welding or operation of an acetylene or other similar torch with open flame.
Fire prevention is a community-wide partnership that we must all work together to prevent fires.
The Restrictions will remain in effect until the restrictions are modified pursuant to El Paso County Ordinance #21-001. Read the full ordinance here.
The Pueblo Fire Department also said no burning is allowed in city limits while red flag conditions exist. Violators will be cited immediately.
Teller County also issued a restriction on open burning and all open burning permits are suspended, effective immediately.
There are some exceptions including:
- Barbecues and pits, at least 10 feet away from combustible walls or roofs or other combustible materials.
- Campfires that are contained within a designated fire pit, at least 25 feet away from all structures or other combustible material.
- Fire pits must be less than 3 feet in diameter or 3 feet in length and width, and at least 18 inches in depth.
- A garden hose connected to a water supply or other approved fire-extinguishing equipment must be readily available.
- All campfires must be attended by a person knowledgeable in the use of fire extinguishing equipment until the fire is completely out.
The following is not allowed under the restrictions:
- Open burning of materials not contained in an incinerator, outdoor fireplace, barbecue, grill, or pit.
- Use of any explosives, fireworks of any type, firing of model rockets, welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with an open flame in an outdoor location.
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