by Terri Wiebold
This summer, the Douglas County Board of County Commissioners placed fire restrictions in effect for the County, including unincorporated areas of Douglas County such as Castle Pines North, based on changes in the extreme risk of fire danger.
Future weather forecasts and lack of precipitation levels create a significant threat of fire in the forests and prairies of Douglas County, and may impact the necessity for such restrictions. When imposed, these restrictions are a proactive approach to eliminate human-caused fire ignition sources.
There are two types of fire restrictions to be aware of, stage 1 and stage 2 – both of which have been in effect at one time or another in the past few months in Douglas County.
Stage 1 Fire Restrictions
Stage 1 fire restrictions prohibit open burning of any kind, as well as the sale and personal use of all fireworks. Allowable activities during Stage 1 include:
Small recreational fires at developed picnic or campground sites contained in permanent fire pits or fire grates with flame lengths not in excess of four feet and which are supervised by a responsible person at least 21 years of age.
Fires within liquid-fueled or gas-fueled stoves, fireplaces within buildings, charcoal grill fires within developed residential or commercial areas, and fires within wood burning stoves.
Only those professional firework displays properly permitted by the local fire department or fire protection district according to section 12-28-103 of the C.R.S.
Fire suppression or fire department training fires.
Stage 2 Fire Restrictions
Stage 2 fire restrictions continue to prohibit open burning of any kind, as well as the sale and personal use of all fireworks. In addition, stage 2 also prohibits the use of charcoal grills and fires in chimneys and other portable fireplaces or patio fire pits, as well as campfires at developed campgrounds or picnic areas. The only allowable activity during stage 2 is cooking on gas or liquid fueled stoves or grills.
All inquiries about restrictions should be directed to Douglas County Emergency Management at 303-660-7589. Any violation of these restrictions is punishable by a fine of up to $600 with a $22 surcharge, and should be reported to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office at 303-660-7500.