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July 9, 2018

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Boulder County enacting Level 2 Fire Restrictions

Forecast for hot temperatures and dry conditions has increased fire danger

Boulder County, Colo. - Sheriff Joe Pelle is enacting Level 2 Fire Restrictions, effective immediately, Monday, July 9, for western Boulder County. The fire restrictions are being implemented due to increasing fire danger, lack of moisture and the forecast for hot temperatures. We also have seen an increase in recreational activities in western Boulder County during the summer months. In addition, local and regional fire suppression resources have also been committed to large fires in Colorado and across the nation.

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:

  • Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire on private and public lands. This includes charcoal grills and barbecues, coal and wood burning stoves and sheepherder’s stoves and includes use in developed camping and picnic grounds.
  • Fireworks sales, use, and possession, including permissible fireworks.
  • Shooting or discharge of firearms for recreational purposes.
  • 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.
  • Operating a chainsaw without a USDA or SAE approved spark arrester properly installed and in effective working order, a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher kept with the operator and one round point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches readily available for use.
  • Using an explosive. This includes but is not limited to fuses or blasting caps, fireworks, rockets, exploding targets, and
    tracers or incendiary ammunition.
  • Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame outdoors.
  • Possessing or using a motor vehicle off established roads, motorized trails or established parking areas, except when
    parking in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the vehicle.

The fire ban ALLOWS:

  • Smoking 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.
  • Devices using pressurized liquid or gas (stoves, grills or lanterns) that include shut-off valves are permitted when used in an area at least three feet or more from flammable material such as grasses or pine needles.
  • Shooting or discharge of firearms for hunting, with a valid and current hunting license on public lands.
  • Operating a chainsaw with a USDA or SAE approved spark arrester properly installed and in effective working order, a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher kept with the operator and one round point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches readily available for use.

For current fire, shooting and developed recreation site restrictions and seasonal closures for USFS properties, visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/arp/home/?cid=FSEPRD583820.

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.

The fire restrictions do not affect open fires within incorporated cities and towns; however, residents and visitors must comply with applicable ordinances and regulations in their respective cities and towns. The fire restrictions will be in effect until Sheriff Pelle finds that the hazardous conditions have subsided.

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."

Level 2