Stage I Fire Restrictions put in place now until Aug. 3

By Amber McIver-Traywick

The Surveyor

Larimer County is currently in Stage 1 Fire Restrictions as of July 3, 2018 at noon. These restrictions will be in place until August 3rd unless conditions change.

The Larimer County commissioners voted unanimously today to put fire restrictions in place, taking the recommendations of local fire departments into consideration.

The restrictions apply only to unincorporated Larimer County. According to a document on the Colorado.gov website, “Stage I occurs when there is an increasing fire danger.” Restrictions are aimed at preventing the start of wildfires based on human activities that are known to be a high risk, specifically related to open flames. Failure to follow the restrictions can result in substantial fines dependent on the circumstances.

What is NOT allowed: ALL private fireworks, charcoal grills of any kind, any fire that is contained in a portable or movable structure – fires that aren’t in permanent or constructed structures, smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building or area clear of all potential flammable material, using any type of combustible engine without a spark-arresting device.

What IS allowed: Professional or commerical fireworks displays, propane or other stoves that can be turned off and on, fires in permanent, constructed and stationary structures like steel fire pit rings in public campgrounds.

Despite the disappointment many may feel about the firework ban the potential safety of an entire community should be considered first. In 2017, the U.S. saw more than 56,000 wildfires burn more than 9 million acres of land, according to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC). According to the NIFC, fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires. These fires caused an average of three deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and an average of $43 million in direct property damage.

There are currently six active wildfires in Colorado that have to date cost upwards of $40 million to combat.

For more details on the restrictions in Larimer County please visit https://www.larimer.org/emergency/mitigating-against-hazards/larimer-county-fire-restrictions

A map of fire restrictions and agency contacts is available here.

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