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Stage 1 fire restrictions now in place for western Boulder County

Hot and dry conditions have increased fire danger
Posted at 10:22 AM, Jun 15, 2022

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — Stage 1 fire restrictions are now in effect for unincorporated areas of western Boulder County due to increasing fire danger, lack of precipitation and hot conditions, the Boulder County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday morning.

Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle enacted the restrictions as of about 9:15 a.m. Wednesday.

The restrictions are in place for the following unincorporated areas of the county:

  • West of Colorado Highway 93 from the intersection with southern boundary of the county until the intersection with Colorado Highway 119
  • West of Broadway Avenue in the City if Boulder, from the intersection with Colorado Highway 119 to the intersection with US Highway 36
  • West of US Highway 36 from the intersection of Broadway Avenue until the northern boundary of the county
  • West of the western boundary of Rabbit Mountain Open Space to US Highway 36
  • All of Rabbit Mountain Open Space

The county provided the below map to show the boundaries for these restrictions.

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

Stage 1 fire restrictions come with a lengthy list of actions that are allowed and prohibited. According to the county:

  • This ban prohibits:
    • Building, maintaining, attending, or using an open fire, campfire, or stove fire on public lands (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 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
    • Parking motorized vehicles in grass or vegetated area that can come in contact with the underside of the vehicle
  • This 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-inch spark arrester type screen
    • The following developed and hosted 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)

Anybody who violates this fire ban may be convicted of a petty offense with a $500 fine, plus any civil penalties.

Sign up for Boulder County's emergency notification system here.

The only area of the state that is reportedly dry enough for a red flag warning as of 10 a.m. is South Park and possibly parts of southwest Colorado, according to the National Weather Service. Boulder County has mostly green fuels, whereas the South Park area has drier foliage which is susceptible to rapid fire growth.

Winds will blow about 25 mph in spots on Thursday in the county.

Precipitation is expected in the Boulder County area on Saturday and Sunday, which will bring threats for flash flooding on wildfires' burn scars. However, the moisture will also limit fire danger along the Front Range, the NWS reported.

Multiple other counties are under fire restrictions in Colorado. See the map below for details.