COLORADO SPRINGS — The start of summer hasn’t officially begun and it looks like fire restrictions may be in place all throughout the popular summer camping season.
All districts on the Pike-San Isabel National Forests & Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands are in Stage 1 fire restrictions which apply to all public lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service in the Leadville, Salida, San Carlos, Comanche, Cimarron, Pikes Peak, South Park and South Platte Ranger Districts.
This order went into effect on Friday May 6 and will remain in effect until September 30, unless it is rescinded.
“For the safety of the public and our employees, it is important to remain vigilant regarding the use of campfires and other activities as the weather and seasons change suddenly,” said Forest and Grasslands Supervisor Diana M. Trujillo. “We are continuing to monitor the situation and as conditions change, restrictions will be adjusted.”
Here are some of the rules under Stage 1 fire restrictions:
- Developed campsites allow campfires in permanent fire pits.
- Forest visitors may only smoke in a vehicle or building.
- Forest visitors may only build or maintain fires and use charcoal in permanent fire pits or fire grates in a developed recreation site, for example in a campground where fees are charged.
- Visitors cannot operate a chainsaw without an approved spark arresting device, a fire extinguisher, and a round-nosed shovel, do any blasting, welding, or operate acetylene or other torches.
- Visitors may not use open flame torches or use explosives, including fireworks or exploding targets.
There are several dispersed campsites in the area that are considered “developed campsites,” and campers would be allowed to build a fire in the pits including the South Platte Ranger District in the area of Rampart Range Road, Rim Road, Jackson Creek Road, Dakan Road, and the area known as Dutch Fred. Fees are required at many of these campsites.
Punishment for disobeying the fire restrictions could result in a fine or imprisonment for up to six months.
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