Larimer County bans open fires, fireworks for unincorporated areas

The Board of Larimer County Commissioners on June 19 added additional fire restrictions on open fires, contained open fires and the sale and use of fireworks and public fireworks displays for the unincorporated areas of Larimer County through September 30.

The restrictions were originally adopted on April 10 and extended on May 15 and June 4. Today’s decision was based on a recommendation from Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith and fire chiefs from area fire agencies. The Sheriff’s Office along with the Board of County Commissioners will continue to closely monitor potential fire danger.

The June 19 resolution specifies:

• Prohibition of open fires in the unincorporated territory of Larimer County effective June 19 through September 30.

1. Open fires shall mean: any open burning, including camp and cooking fires; or welding, or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame. Open fires shall not include:
a. Fires in camp stoves or grills, fueled by bottled gas or pressurized liquid, and specifically designed for cooking or heating purposes.
b. Fires in commercially operated wood and/or charcoal fired grills designed for cooking.
c. Smoking within 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 material. Smoking within an enclosed vehicle shall mean that the cigarette, cigar or other smoking instrument is at all times contained within the vehicle and is not allowed to leave the vehicle or protrude or be held outside the vehicle, including the window of the vehicle. Butts and stubs must be disposed of within a trash receptacle or within the vehicle.

• Prohibition of contained open fires in the unincorporated territory of Larimer County shall be imposed June 19 through September 30.

1. Contained open fires shall mean: fires in permanently constructed stationary masonry or metal fireplaces specifically designed for the purpose of combustion; or operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark arresting devise properly installed, maintained and in effective working order meeting either Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Standard 5100-1a or appropriate Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) recommended practice J335(b) and J350(a). Contained open fires shall not include fireplaces or wood stoves located inside permanent structures.

• Prohibition on the sale or use of fireworks and public fireworks displays in the unincorporated territory of Larimer County shall be imposed effective June 19 through September 30.

1. Fireworks shall mean: any article, device, or substance prepared for the primary purpose of producing a visual or auditory sensation by combustion, explosion, deflagration, or detonation.
2. Fireworks does not include:
a. Toy caps which do not contain more than twenty-five hundredths of a grain of explosive compound per cap;
b. Highway flares, railroad fuses, ship distress signals, smoke candles, and other emergency signal devices;
3. Public fireworks displays shall mean: any display of fireworks conducted by a qualified pyrotechnic operator in compliance with article 78, section 7802 – fireworks – of the uniform fire code, as amended, and conducted only after the approval by the local fire authority, and compliance with any conditions imposed by the local fire authority.

The Sheriff can exempt items from these restrictions based on his pre-approval and inspection.

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