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Understanding Fire Restrictions

Colorado faces its fair share of serious wildfires and forest fires and 2018 has been no exception. We take very seriously the responsibility of protecting our amazing mountain community, neighborhoods, wildlife, trails, and forests. Preventing wildfires is a team effort! As we move into the drier months of fall, please help us protect our community and surrounding forests.

  • If you see a fire (small or large), please report it to local authorities immediately.
  • Before you go out, always check and respect all local fire regulations. Fire restrictions can change rapidly and can vary by county and jurisdiction.

The majority of fires are human caused. Let’s all take part in protecting our mountain communities, wildlife, and public lands. It is all our responsibility to prevent fires in the places we love to live and play.

Fire restrictions – 3 stages:

Stage 1: Increasing fire danger

  • No campfires (except within a developed recreation site or improved site)
  • No charcoal barbecues or grills
  • No smoking (except in a developed recreation site, building, or vehicle)
  • No target shooting on public lands
  • No personal fireworks
  • No use of internal or external combustion engine without a spark-arresting device

Stage 2: Fire watch with restrictions due to severe dry conditions

As fire danger increases, officials might choose to move to Stage 2 fire restrictions and intensifies the restrictions from Stage 1.

  • No fires period
  • No smoking
  • No firearms
  • No fireworks
  • No use of motor vehicle off of official roads 
  • No use of internal or external combustion engine without a spark-arresting device

Stage 3: Extreme conditions, no open burning allowed

A CLOSURE of public lands.

  • No entering of the closed area

Violations of these regulations is punishable as a Class B misdemeanor, by a fine of up to $5000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, and/or imprisonment.


Fire danger rating and color codes:

Low (L) – Green

Fuels do not ignite readily although a more intense heat source, such as lightning,

may start fires.

Moderate (M) – Blue

Fires can start from most accidental causes. Fires are not likely to become serious and

control is relatively easy.

High (H) – Yellow

Fires start easily from most causes. Unattended brush and campfires are likely to escape. Fires may become serious and their control difficult.

Very High (VH) – Orange

Fires start easily from all causes and spread rapidly and increase quickly in intensity.

Extreme ( E ) – Red

Fires start quickly, spread furiously, and burn intensely. Development into high intensity burning will usually be faster and unmanageable until the weather changes.


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