As we head into the 4th of July weekend, be aware that many counties currently have fire restrictions in place. Fire danger is especially high in the western half of Colorado, which currently has a Red Flag Warning in place.
Fire Bans and Restrictions
Governor Polis signed Executive Order D 2020 037 back in April, which temporarily gives counties more discretion and flexibility to implement restrictions on open burning. This year, with COVID-19, fighting fires would put additional strain on government resources, so greater precautions are in place. Dry conditions in many parts of the state are also contributing to the fire danger.
So, if your holiday plans include campfires, cookouts, shooting, or fireworks, be sure to check the Division of Fire Prevention & Control (DFPC)’s Fire Restriction Information page. Here you’ll find a link to information from each Colorado county, as well as restrictions in National Forests and other Federal lands. The Colorado Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (DHSEM) also has current information on fire restrictions on their Fire Bans & Danger page, which includes a map of counties with fire restrictions. Additional sources for fire information include the Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center and the USDA Forest Service’s Active Fire Mapping Program.
Fires and smoke can affect air quality. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has daily air quality updates and smoke advisories on their website. Ozone alerts are also listed on the site. Currently, fires in neighboring states are causing less-than-optimal air quality in parts of Colorado, so those sensitive to air quality should limit their time spent outdoors.
This year, many locations have cancelled their annual fireworks displays, however, some are still going ahead, so check online before heading out. If you’re planning to use personal fireworks, be sure to consult the websites above to be aware of any current fire restrictions — many counties have banned the use of home fireworks this year, even sparklers. For facts and safety tips, see the DFPS’s Fireworks webpage. And after the holiday is over, if you have leftover fireworks, see this information from CDPHE on safe disposal of fireworks.