Think twice this summer before starting those fires or lighting those State-approved fireworks because as of June 16, the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests have enacted Stage 1 fire restrictions, which include the Clear Creek, Boulder, and Canyon Lakes ranger districts in Larimer County. With Stage 1 fire restriction, visitors will be limited to what types of fires they can have and where they can have them, and these limitations are to remain in effect until July 15.
According to the Colorado State Division of Fire Prevention and Control, as of this writing (June 23, 2022), fire restrictions have not been enacted for Larimer County. A map of fire restrictions by county can be found at dfpc.colorado.gov/firerestriction.
Under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions in the National Forests, Grasslands, and Ranger Districts, the following is prohibited:
- Igniting, building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire (including fires fueled by charcoal or briquettes) outside of a permanent metal or concrete fire pit or grate that the Forest Service has installed and maintained at its developed recreation sites (campgrounds and picnic areas).
- 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 an effective and properly installed spark arrestor, a fire extinguisher kept with the operator and a shovel.
- Blasting, welding, or operating a torch with an open flame without being in a cleared area of at least 10 feet in diameter and having a fire extinguisher kept with the operator.
- Fireworks are always prohibited on National Forest System lands.
Anyone caught violating Stage 1 fire restrictions could face a maximum fine of $5,000 for an or $10,000 for organizations, or imprisonment for more than six months, or possibly both. If someone is found responsible for causing a wildfire, they could also be held accountable for the suppression costs of that fire.
Many of the surrounding communities are still in the process of recovering from the 2020 wildfires and if the future predictions are to be at all accurate, it’s looking to likely be yet another challenging summer. Everyone is asked to do their part to reduce human-caused wildfires in addition to following all fire restrictions.
For more information, visit the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland’s Know Before You Go for further fire restrictions order and map.