Stage 1 fire restrictions, enacted for unincorporated areas of western Boulder County.

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July 1, 2024

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Boulder County enacted Stage 1 fire restrictions on July 1, 2024

High temperatures and low moisture have increased the fire danger

Boulder County, Colo. - Sheriff Curtis Johnson has enacted Stage 1 Fire Restrictions, effective immediately, Monday, July 1, for unincorporated areas of western Boulder County.

The fire restrictions are being implemented due to increasing fire danger, lack of moisture, and the forecast for hot temperatures. Data produced by the National Fire Danger Rating System and the National Weather Service is also used when determining if fire restrictions are needed for public safety. The fire restrictions will be in effect until the hazardous conditions have subsided.

With the upcoming Independence Day holiday, please note that it is illegal to use any personal fireworks within the fire restriction area. For residents and visitors in unincorporated Boulder County, east of Highway 36 and 93, the use of some personal fireworks is allowed unless fire restrictions are enacted. This includes restrictions on days where a Red Flag Warning, High Wind Warning, High Wind Watch, Fire Danger Warning, or Fire Weather Watch is in effect. Additionally, any device that explodes or leaves the ground is likely illegal in Colorado. The use of any fireworks on Boulder County Open Space or National Forest System lands is also illegal.

Anyone found in violation of the fire ban may be convicted of a civil infraction and may be subject to a $500 fine, in addition to any possible civil penalties. Higher fines may be imposed for subsequent offenses.

The fire restrictions include these areas in unincorporated Boulder County:

  • West of CO Highway 93 (CO-93), from its intersection with the southern boundary of Boulder County until, and including, its intersection with CO Highway 119 (CO-119);
  • West of Broadway Avenue in the City of Boulder, from its intersection with CO-119 until, and including, its intersection with US Highway 36 (US-36);
  • West of US-36, from its intersection with Broadway Avenue until its intersection with the northern boundary of Boulder County;
  • West of the western boundary of the Rabbit Mountain Open Space until, and including, US-36; and;
  • All of the Rabbit Mountain Open Space property.

The fire restrictions PROHIBIT:

  • Building, maintaining, attending, or using an open fire, campfire, or stove fire on public lands. This includes charcoal barbecues and grills;
  • Fireworks sales, use, and possession, including permissible fireworks;
  • Shooting or discharge of firearms for recreational purposes on public lands except for hunting with a valid and current hunting license on public lands;
  • Smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least 10 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials;
  • Operating a chainsaw or any internal or external combustion engine without a USDA or SAE approved spark arrester properly installed and in effective working order, a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher kept with the operator and one round point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches readily available for use;
  • Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame except in cleared areas of at least 10 feet in diameter and in possession of a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher;
  • Using an explosive or doing any kind of blasting work; and
  • Parking motorized vehicles in grass or vegetated area that can come in contact with the underside of the vehicle.

The fire restrictions ALLOW:

  • Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire in constructed, permanent fire pits or fire grates within developed recreation sites (listed below), and on private lands along with the use of portable stoves, lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum, pressurized liquid fuel or a fully enclosed (sheepherder type) stove with a ¼” spark arrester type screen is permitted.

The following hosted and fee-charged recreation sites allow fire in constructed, permanent fire pits or fire grates, in accordance with USFS policies and closures.

  • Kelly Dahl Campground
  • Rainbow Lakes Campground
  • Camp Dick Campground
  • Peaceful Valley Campground
  • Meeker Park Campground
  • Olive Ridge Campground
  • Brainard Lake Recreation Area (Includes Pawnee Campground)

For more information on fire restrictions on USFS land within Boulder County, visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/arp/alerts-notices/?aid=57718.

Colorado state statutes authorize counties to impose fire restrictions, "to a degree and in a manner that the Board of County Commissioners deems necessary to reduce the danger of wildfires within those portions of the unincorporated areas of the county where the danger of forest or grass fires is found to be high based on competent evidence."

Stage 1 map