Boulder County enacts Stage 1 fire restrictionsNews release

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June 15, 2022

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Boulder County enacts Stage 1 fire restrictions on June 15, 2022

High temperatures and low moisture have increased the fire danger

Boulder County, Colo. - Sheriff Joe Pelle has enacted Stage 1 Fire Restrictions, effective immediately, Wednesday, June 15, for unincorporated areas of western Boulder County.

The fire restrictions are being implemented due to increasing fire danger, lack of moisture, and the forecast for hot temperatures. Competent evidence, including quantitative data produced by the National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS) and the National Weather Service, which is also used by our partners with the United States Forest Service, exists, which necessitates implementing Stage 1 Fire Restrictions.

The fire restrictions 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 an open fire, campfire, or stove fire on public lands. This includes charcoal barbecues and grills;
  • Fireworks sales, use, and possession, including permissible fireworks;
  • Shooting or discharge of firearms for recreational purposes on public lands except for hunting with a valid and current hunting license on public lands;
  • Smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least 10 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;
  • Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame except in cleared areas of at least 10 feet in diameter and in possession of a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher;
  • Using an explosive or doing any kind of blasting work; and
  • Parking motorized vehicles in grass or vegetated area that can come in contact with the underside of the vehicle.

The fire ban ALLOWS:

  • Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire in constructed, permanent fire pits or fire grates within developed recreation sites (listed below), and on private lands along with the use of portable stoves, lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum, pressurized liquid fuel or a fully enclosed (sheepherder type) stove with a ¼” spark arrester type screen is permitted.
    • The following developed and hosted recreation sites allow fire in constructed, permanent fire pits or fire grates, in accordance with USFS policies and closures.
      • Kelly Dahl Campground
      • Rainbow Lakes Campground
      • Camp Dick Campground
      • Peaceful Valley Campground
      • Meeker Park Overflow Campground
      • Olive Ridge Campground
      • Brainard Lake Recreation Area (Includes Pawnee Campground)

Anyone found in violation of the fire ban may be convicted of a class two petty offense and may be subject to a $500 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."

Stage 1 Mountains