In the wake of one of the worst fires in Colorado history, Colorado Springs has enacted Stage Two fire restrictions that went into effect at noon Tuesday.
Due to a lack of precipitation in recent weeks, city vegetation and dead materials such as pine needles on the ground are the driest they have been all season. According to a statement released by the Colorado Springs Fire Department, strong winds, warm temperatures and dry fuels are adding to the serious conditions that are increasing the area’s fire risk. Fire Marshal Brett Lacey said in a statement that despite summer ending, the fire season continues.
“It will take a good rain event and increased relative humidity to improve fuel moisture conditions. It's important for citizens to know that even though the summer season is winding down, fire season is not,” Lacey said.
The section of Colorado Springs at highest risk of fires is on the west side, extending from Rockrimmon to Broadmoor Bluff. Christina Randall, Wildlife Mitigation Section Manager for CSFD, said it is because of the Wildland-Urban Interface, meaning that houses and other structures are intermingled with forests and mountains. However, all residents are urged to exercise extreme caution.
“The eastern and central sides have a risk of grass fires, so the people in those areas still have some fire danger,” Randall said.
The following activities are prohibited during Stage Two restrictions:
• Open burning defined as campfires and warming fires, charcoal grills and outdoor wood burning stoves, the use of explosives, outdoor welding or use of acetylene or other torch with open flame other than in an area cleared of all flammable materials. Fires contained within liquid-fueled or gas-fueled stoves are permitted.
• The use of sale of fireworks of all kinds.
• Outdoor smoking except within an enclosed vehicle or building.
Violations will result in a fine of up to $1000.