Due to dry and warm conditions and recent fire starts, the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests’ Clear Creek, Boulder, and Canyon Lakes ranger districts along with the Pawnee National Grassland have enacted Stage 1 fire restrictions.
Stage 1 fire restrictions limit where and what type of fires visitors can have and remain in place until rescinded.
The following is PROHIBITED under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions:
- 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.
- Using an explosive. This includes but is not limited to fuses, blasting caps, fireworks, rockets, exploding targets, tracers, and incendiary ammunition. (Fireworks are always prohibited on National Forest lands).
Be sure to visit the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests’ Know Before You Go page to see fire restriction orders and maps. Fire managers will continue to monitor conditions across the rest of the Forests and Grassland and the need for further fire restrictions.
Violation of Stage 1 fire restrictions could result in a maximum fine of $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for more than six months, or both. If responsible for causing a wildfire, one could be held accountable for suppression costs of that fire.
Late fall brings other changes to the Forests and Grassland as well, with many roads and recreation facilities closing for the season. Hunting is also taking place in many areas, so everyone is encouraged (pets included) to wear blaze orange as a safety precaution. It is important to plan for changing conditions this time of year, as weather conditions can vary greatly by location and time of day. Finally, recreational target shooters are reminded to ensure they are in an area open to this activity and they never use exploding targets or tracer bullets. More information on target shooting is available on the website at fs.usda.gov.