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Front Range Communities Move to Enact Open Fire Bans, Urge Caution

Smoke plumes above the Lower North Fork Fire in Jefferson County
Nathan Heffel

With dry conditions and increased fire danger, some local officials aren’t taking any chances. Boulder and Arapahoe counties issued emergency bans on outdoor fires in unincorporated areas today.

The ban comes at the same time that the Lower North Fork Fire is burning thousands of acres and forcing the evacuation of many homes in Jefferson County. The bans apply to campfires and the burning of forest slash piles. Boulder County has prohibited the use of fireworks.

Still allowed in Boulder County are fires contained within liquid or gas fuel stoves, charcoal grill fires on private lands and campfires in U.S. Forest Service maintained campgrounds.

 “It’s important right now that folks enjoying the outdoors—whether it’s a campfire, or shooting activities—really take caution with those activities or give us all a little break,” says Jay Stalnacker, a fire management officer for the county.

So far Stalnacker says three small fires have been connected to shooting areas and the discharge of firearms.

Englewood and Golden have also adopted fire restrictions. In Larimer County, the sheriff's office did not issue a ban on Tuesday, but urged extreme caution with any potential source of ignition--campfires, slash pile burns, cigarette butts, exc.

Check for a complete listing of fire bans here.

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