by Pam Zubeck
No bonfires, fireworks, model rockets or recreational fires are allowed under burn restrictions imposed at noon today by the Colorado Springs Fire Marshal's Office.
Outdoor burning will be allowed only for approved agencies, and outdoor smoking is limited to inside vehicles and where allowed in buildings.
Here's the press release issued this morning:
Lack of precipitation and continued high temperatures have left the city with HIGH wildland fire danger. With little precipitation in recent weeks, the city's vegetation is extremely dry. Dead materials (i.e. pine needles and leaves) on the ground are at the driest level they've been all season. Fuel moisture levels in the grasses and weeds are steadily declining making them vulnerable to an ignition.
"Fuel moisture sampling is done throughout the growing season. Current conditions are very serious," said Christina Randall, Wildfire Mitigation Section Manager for the Colorado Springs Fire Department. "Dry fuels, warm temperatures and strong wind events have increased the fire risk. Residents need to have a heightened awareness of the situation."
Fire Marshal Brett Lacey reminds residents, "It will take a good rain event and increased relative humidity’s 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.”
Fire Marshal Lacey also noted that, “Stage II fire restrictions will go into effect @ 1200 MST today and will stay in effect until weather and fuel conditions improve.” For information about fire restrictions and related activities see the attached information sheet or go to the fire department website: http://www.springsgov.com/page.aspx?navid=1990
Everyone is asked to take extra precautions to prevent wildfires when participating in all types of outdoor activities. We ask that parents remain especially cognizant of their children’s activities. Immediately call 911 when smoke or flames are spotted.
Residents are encouraged to “Share the Responsibility” and reduce their wildfire risk by implementing Wildfire Mitigation concepts in their landscaping. Wildfire hazard ratings for individual addresses are available at http://csfd.springsgov.com.