by Kirk Woundy
Fire danger has trumped holiday celebration, with the City of Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs having announced cancellation of their fireworks displays, and Fort Carson confirming that it will do the same.
The Fort Carson news came an email from spokesperson Dee McNutt to Indy reporter Pam Zubeck this morning.
Here's yesterday's release from Colorado Springs:
Colorado Springs, Colo.—Due to continued extreme fire dangers in the region, the City of Colorado Springs and the Colorado Springs Fire Department has put a hold on all public fireworks displays within the city limits effective today, Monday, June 24. The City of Colorado Springs remains in burn restrictions. Personal use the fireworks, as always, is illegal within the city limits of Colorado Springs.
"The safety of our community comes first. With fire conditions in our area not improving, we all need to take extra precautions to keep our community safe from any potential fire hazards," said Interim Fire Chief Tommy Smith.
Many of the already scheduled public events will continue to go on without fireworks.
And last week's announcement from Manitou:
Manitou Springs Fire Chief Keith Buckmiller has enacted fire restrictions due to the weather, fuel conditions, and lack of countywide firefighting resources.
Chief Buckmiller declares high fire danger, announces the imposition of restrictions on open fires and open burning, and reminds Manitou Springs citizens and visitors that fireworks are always illegal within city limits.
The 2013 Manitou Springs Fire Department’s Fourth of July Fireworks Show is regretfully canceled.
Current fire restrictions include a ban on open fires and open burning, defined as any outdoor fire, including, but not limited to, campfires, warming fires, charcoal grill fires, fires in wood-burning stoves or grates, fused explosives, and fireworks of all types.
During this open fire ban, the smoking of tobacco and other products in cigarettes, cigars, or pipes is prohibited outdoors, except on Manitou Avenue. Outdoors is defined to mean any place outside an enclosed structure or vehicle. The discarding of a lighted cigarette, cigar, or pipe tobacco outdoors is strictly prohibited during a period of high fire danger.
Restrictions on open fires and open burning do not apply to gas-fueled grills used out-of-doors, or to fires within liquid-fueled or gas-fueled stoves, fireplaces within buildings, nor to fires in wood-burning stoves and fireplaces within private residences.
The Manitou Springs Fire Department thanks you for your role in keeping the city fire safe.
We want it known that we do not impose these measures lightly. Our hope is that everyone can understand our need to take every reasonable precaution to ensure a safe summer for all.
The Air Force Academy announced months ago that it would not be holding a fireworks display this year, due to budget cuts from the sequester.
——- ORIGINAL POST, JUNE 12, 1:03 P.M. ——-
In moves that should surprise no one, both the City of Colorado Springs and El Paso County today have tightened restrictions on where, when and what you can burn.
First, the city:
City of Colorado Springs Enacts Fire Restrictions
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, June 15 — Lack of precipitation and continued high temperatures have left the City of Colorado Springs with EXTREME wildland fire danger. Dry conditions and above normal temperatures have resulted in low fuel moistures. Trees and brush are at critically low levels which make them vulnerable to ignition.
"In addition to critically low fuel moistures, aerial and ground resources around the state are committed to fighting fires." said Fire Marshal Brett Lacey.
Interim Fire Chief Tommy Smith has determined that, “fire restrictions in the City will go into effect Wednesday, June 12 at 12:00PM MDT and will stay in effect until weather and fuel conditions improve.”
Burn Restriction and Burn Ban Penalties - Person(s) failing to comply with a Burn Restriction or Burn Ban shall be punished in accordance with the general penalty of the Code of the City of Colorado Springs as amended (1.1.201). A careless fire that threatens or damages property is fourth degree arson and shall be prosecuted as such.
Interim Chief Smith urges everyone 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 9-1-1 when smoke or flames are spotted.
Residents are encouraged to “Share the Responsibility” and reduce their wildfire risk by implementing Wildfire Mitigation concepts into their landscaping. Wildfire hazard ratings for individual addresses are available at http://csfd.springsgov.com. For more information about fire restrictions and related activities visit www.springsgov.com/fire.
And the county:
El PASO COUNTY SHERIFF TERRY MAKETA IMPOSES STAGE I FIRE RESTRICTIONS
Due to the strain on firefighting resources from current local and State-wide firefighting efforts, as well as hot and dry conditions which are expected to continue, Sheriff Terry Maketa has imposed Stage I Fire Restrictions for unincorporated EL Paso County, effective immediately.
El Paso County Ordinance 02-2 governing Stage I Fire Restrictions states the following:
1. Open burning and outdoor fires are prohibited UNLESS done within permanently constructed fire grates in developed campgrounds and picnic grounds.
2. The use of wood burning stoves and charcoal grills at private residences in areas cleared of all flammable materials is ALLOWED.
3. The sale or use of fireworks is prohibited.
4. Outdoor smoking is only allowed IF done within an enclosed vehicle or building, OR done in a developed recreation site, OR while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is clear of all flammable materials.
Sheriff Maketa insists everyone remain vigilant in their compliance with the restrictions as our community faces challenging conditions which are likely to exist for an extended period. The tragedy in Black Forest and the ongoing recovery from the Waldo Canyon Fire are events which demonstrate the power and destruction of wildland fire. The Sheriff’s Office will exercise a zero tolerance policy for those persons who violate the restrictions.