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News Archive

August 11, 2016

Media Contact

Public Information Unit, 303-441-1500

Boulder County fire ban amended

Previously prohibited activities now allowed, but fire ban is still in place

Boulder County, Colo. - On Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016, Sheriff Joe Pelle amended the fire ban currently in effect. Due to the lower temperatures and recent moisture the fire ban has been amended to allow certain activities to take place that were previously prohibited.

The amended fire ban is still in effect for the mountain area of Boulder County. The mountain area includes all unincorporated areas west of Highway 93, Broadway Avenue, and Highway 36 (North and South Foothills Highways and Broadway Avenue in the City of Boulder) including Rabbit Mountain Open Space and west of Rabbit Mountain Open Space to Highway 36.

The amended fire ban still PROHIBITS:

  • Building, maintaining, attending, or using an open fire, campfire, or stove fire. This includes charcoal barbecues and grills.
  • 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.
  • 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.

The amended fire ban now ALLOWS:

  • Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire in constructed, permanent fire pits or fire grates within developed recreation sites (as specifically 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.
  • The following developed recreation sites allow fire in constructed, permanent fire pits or fire grates:

• 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)

The fire ban does not affect open fires within incorporated cities and towns; however residents must comply with applicable ordinances and regulations in their respective cities and towns. The fire ban will be in effect until the sheriff finds that the hazardous conditions have subsided.

State statutes authorize counties to impose a fire ban “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.”

Anyone found in violation of the fire ban may be convicted of a class 2 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.

For current fire and shooting restrictions for United States Forest Service properties, go to the following website:

For current fire restrictions in Eldorado Canyon State Park, go to the following website:


Carrie Haverfield

Public Information Specialist