Larimer County extends restrictions on open fires, lifts fireworks restrictions

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The Board of Larimer County Commissioners on June 4 extended fire restrictions on open fires through September 30 but did not extend County restrictions on the use and sale of fireworks and public fireworks displays for the unincorporated areas of Larimer County.

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

Although County restrictions on fireworks were not extended past June 15, County residents must still follow State statute and the definitions of what is allowed/not allowed are spelled out in the County’s complete fire ordinance at It reads:

• 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.

• Fireworks does not include: Toy caps which do not contain more than twenty-five hundredths of a grain of explosive compound per cap; highway flares, railroad fuses, ship distress signals, smoke candles, and other emergency signal devices; educational rockets and toy propellant device type engines used in such rockets when such rockets are of nonmetallic construction and utilize replaceable engines or model cartridges containing less than two ounces of propellant and when such engines or model cartridges are designed to be ignited by electrical means; fireworks which are used in testing or research by a licensed explosives laboratory.

• 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 June 4 extension of the opening burning restrictions means that no open fires are allowed — no open camp or cooking fires, only “contained” open fires such as those in camp stoves and grills using gas or pressurized liquid or those in permanently constructed, stationary, metal or masonry fireplaces such as those located in campgrounds and masonry or metal permanent fire pits.

• Smoking in the open is not allowed under these restrictions.

• It is okay to operate combustion engines with spark arresting devices, properly installed and in working order.

• Citizens who live in unincorporated areas of Larimer County can operate a charcoal grill on a non-combustible surface at least ten feet in diameter at their private residence.

• No agricultural burning is allowed under these restrictions.

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

Any person who knowingly violates the restrictions commits a class 2 petty offense and can be fined. Again, the County’s complete fire ordinance is available at: