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

Fire Management
Fire management Members

Fire Management


Fire management LogoIn Colorado, each County Sheriff has a statutory responsibility to coordinate wildland fire response within their specified county. Because of the diversity of Colorado, this takes on many different forms throughout the state. The wildland fire history, expansive wildland urban interface (WUI), and the responsibility for resource management on county lands has created a necessity for resources to supplement the capabilities of the local fire departments within the Boulder County. To address these issues, the Fire Management Program was established. Originating of a single Fire Management Officer (FMO), combined with seasonal and volunteer labor, the program has evolved over the years to become what it is today. Boulder County Fire Management has four full-time, year-round employees, who work with the FMO. There are two Fire Operation Specialists (FOS), and two Senior Firefighters. As the wildland fire season approaches, seasonal firefighters are brought on to assist in wildfire response, prescribed fire activities, and forestry projects.


We provide efficient, effective, public safety services to the residents and visitors of Boulder County. We deliver these services with character, competence, and open communication. Fire Management acts as the subject matter experts to the Sheriff for wildfire suppression, prescribed burning, fire restriction implementation, and education. Fire Management is responsible for suppression of forest and prairie fires on all unincorporated public lands within the 740 square miles of Boulder County. This includes but is not limited to over 100,000 acres of County Open Space and Land Easements, the Arapahoe-Roosevelt National Forest, and a heavily intermixed WUI. The program also closely assists local volunteer and paid fire departments with suppression needs and coordination.


During normal duty hours, Fire Management staffs various fire suppression apparatus to respond to wildland fire threats, with a Fire Duty Officer (FDO) that supplies 24/7 coverage year-round. As the national fire season evolves and with consideration to local staffing levels and fire danger, Fire Management supports our regional and federal partners with suppression efforts around the state and the nation.

In addition to Fire Managements’ two brush-engines, Initial Attack Squad, and the FDO, Boulder County also manages an interagency Type 2 Initial Attack handcrew (T2IA), comprised of firefighters from cooperating fire departments and land management agencies in Boulder County. The purpose of the Boulder County Handcrew is to provide a rapid response of well-trained firefighters to escalating incidents that are normally fulfilled by federal agencies and crews. This program is not only a valuable resource for suppression, but it also provides valuable training and experience to many local firefighters. The handcrew is available to the local, regional, and national levels of fire management.

Fire Management reflected in side mirror during prescribed burn
Helicopter dropping water on wildland fire
Fire Management members during prescribed burn

Boulder County Parks and Open Space (POS) is responsible for managing over 100,000 acres of land in Boulder County. Fire Management works closely with POS to implement agricultural burns, prescribed burns on prairies and forested properties, cutting projects, and pile burning. Projects locations include public-use properties, public easements, and various closed and protected lands.

In addition to the above responsibilities, Fire Management helps residents obtain burn permits for piles and broadcast burns on private property within unincorporated Boulder County. Unlike many counties, Boulder provides these permits at no cost. This is an excellent opportunity for public education, while assisting homeowners and land managers in removing hazardous fuels on their properties. Hundreds of permits are issued to Boulder County citizens annually that account for thousands of tons of fuels reduction, resulting in more fire adapted and resilient communities. View more information on the Burn Permit program.

Educating the public is one of the most effective ways to reduce the chance of wildland fires. As a result, Fire Management participates in outreach events throughout the year. Staff attend fire department open house events and are involved with the Sheriff’s Office Community Academy, the Left Hand Outdoor Challenge, fire restrictions, and work alongside the Youth Corps.

For any additional information about Boulder County Fire Management, including questions regarding Fire Restrictions or Open Burning, please email us at or call (303) 441-4500.

Contact Us

Sheriff's Office

Main: 303-441-3600
Alternate: 303-441-4444
Fax: 303-441-4739


Sheriff's Headquarters
5600 Flatiron Parkway
Boulder, CO 80301
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Sheriff's website
Head Quarters Lobby Hours:
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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