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August 28, 2019

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Boulder County enacts Level 1 Fire Restrictions

Forecast for hot temperatures and dry conditions has increased fire danger

Boulder County, Colo. - Sheriff Joe Pelle has enacted Level 1 Fire Restrictions, effective immediately, today, Wednesday, August 28, for western Boulder County. The fire restrictions are being implemented due to increasing fire danger, lack of moisture, and the forecast for hot temperatures. The fire restrictions will be in effect until Sheriff Pelle finds that the hazardous conditions have subsided.

The fire restrictions include the mountain areas of Boulder County. The mountain areas include any and all unincorporated areas of the county:

  • West of CO Highway 93 (CO-93), from its intersection with the southern boundary of Boulder County until, and including, its intersection with CO Highway 119 (CO-119);
  • West of Broadway Avenue in the City of Boulder, from its intersection with CO-119 until, and including, its intersection with US Highway 36 (US-36);
  • West of US-36, from its intersection with Broadway Avenue until its intersection with the northern boundary of Boulder County;
  • West of the western boundary of the Rabbit Mountain Open Space until, and including, US-36; and;
  • All of the Rabbit Mountain Open Space property.

A map depicting the areas of Boulder County affected by the fire ban is included below.

The fire ban PROHIBITS:

  1. Building, maintaining, attending, or using an open fire, campfire or stove fire (including charcoal barbecues and grills) on public land;
  2. Use of all personal fireworks;
  3. Shooting or discharging firearms for recreational purposes, except for hunting with a valid and current hunting license on public land;
  4. Smoking, except in 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;
  5. Operating a chainsaw without a USDA or SAE-approved spark arrester properly installed and in effective working order. A chemical, pressurized fire-extinguisher must be kept with the operator, and at least one round-point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches must be readily available for use;
  6. Welding or operating an acetylene or other open-flame torch, except in cleared areas of at least 10 feet in diameter, and with a chemical, pressurized fire-extinguisher immediately available for use; and
  7. Using an explosive.

The fire ban ALLOWS:

  1. Building, maintain, attending or using a fire in constructed, permanent fire pits or fire grates, within developed recreation sites (see below), and on private lands;
  2. The use of portable stoves; lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel; or a fully enclosed (sheepherder-type) stove with a 1/4" spark arrester-type screen.

The following United States Forest Service (USFS) developed recreation sites are located within Boulder County and are exempted from the fire restrictions, in accordance with USFS policies and closures, when open and staffed: Kelly Dahl Campground, Rainbow Lakes Campground, Camp Dick Campground, Peacefully Valley Campground, Meeker Park Overflow Campground, Olive Ridge Campground, and the Brainard Lake Recreation Area, which includes the Pawnee Campground.

For current fire, shooting and developed recreation site restrictions and seasonal closures for USFS properties, visit: www.fs.usda.gov/detail/arp/alerts-notices/?cid=fseprd533597.

Anyone found in violation of the fire ban may be convicted of a class two petty offense, and may be subject to up to a $1,000 fine, in addition to any possible civil penalties. Higher fines may be imposed for subsequent offenses.

These fire restrictions are for unincorporated Boulder County. If you live within, or are visiting an incorporated city or town, please check with that city or town directly to see what, if any, fire restrictions they may have in place.

Colorado state statutes authorize counties to impose fire restrictions "to a degree and in a manner that the Board of County Commissioners deems necessary to reduce the danger of wildfires within those portions of the unincorporated areas of the county where the danger of forest or grass fires is found to be high based on competent evidence."