News Flash

Summit County Government

Posted on: October 1, 2020

Summit County Lifts Stage 2 Fire Restrictions

Smokey Bear says, "You can help." One less spark, one less wildfire.

Recreational fires are allowed on private property only in permitted fire devices

Contact: Scott Vargo, County Manager

SUMMIT COUNTY – The Summit County Board of Commissioners lifted Stage 2 Fire Restrictions, effective Friday, Oct. 2. The commissioners enacted the change during a special meeting Thursday afternoon, in recognition of similar moves by other public agencies in the region.

The administrative closure of the Summit County Shooting Range will remain in effect through Wednesday, Oct. 7, in order to accommodate Summit County’s study of the range’s noise impacts on the surrounding community. The range will reopen to the public on Thursday, Oct. 8.

The board's decision to lift Stage 2 Fire Restrictions has the support of local fire districts as well as the Dillon Ranger District of the White River National Forest, which will enter Stage 1 Fire Restrictions Friday, Oct. 2. Under Stage 1 Restrictions, campfires and charcoal are only allowed in developed Forest Service campgrounds in the metal fire rings and grates provided. Violators are subject to fines of up to $5,000 and/or six months in jail.

Propane and other petroleum-fueled stoves and camping equipment are allowed throughout the Forest under Stage 1, as are sheep-herder and other wood-burning stoves often used in hunting tents provided they are fully enclosed metal stoves with a chimney at least five feet in length and have a spark arrestor with a screen opening of ¼ inch or less.

The detailed order describing the specifics of Stage 1 restrictions is available at www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver.

Even with Stage 2 Fire Restrictions lifted, open fires are prohibited in Summit County. In January 2020, the Board of County Commissioners and the towns of Blue River, Breckenridge, Dillon, Frisco and Silverthorne approved and adopted a year-round fire code that prohibits non-permitted open fires. Violators are subject to fines of up to $250.

Stage 1 fire restrictions and Summit County’s year-round fire code prohibit building, maintaining, attending or using an open fire. An open fire is defined as any outdoor fire, including but not limited to campfires, warming fires, bonfires or prescribed burns of any material.

The following activities are prohibited under Stage 1 fire restrictions and the fire code:

  • Building, maintaining, attending or using an open fire
  • Use of fireworks
  • Use of tracer ammunition
  • Use of any projectile containing explosive material, incendiary material or other flammable chemical substance
  • Use of recreational explosives, including explosive targets
  • Disposal of any burning object outdoors, including any cigarette, cigar or match.

Fires are allowed in constructed, permanent fire pits or fire grates within developed recreation sites, such as campgrounds and picnic areas. Fires are allowed on private property if contained within a commercially designed and manufactured outdoor fireplace or portable outdoor fireplace (including chimenea) that is assembled, located and operated in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Any such device must also meet the following criteria:

  • The resident or property owner has obtained a valid permit from the local fire district.
  • The device must be equipped with a protective screen that reduces the spread of embers.
  • The area directly underneath the fire is barren.
  • The fire is at least 15 feet from any flammable material or structure.
  • The size of the fire is no larger than 3 feet wide and 2 feet tall.
  • Only nontoxic fuel sources such as wood or charcoal may be burned.

Natural gas and propane-fueled fire tables and fireplaces that have on/off switches do not require a permit from the fire district.

For more information about current fire restrictions and wildfire prevention, visit www.SummitCountyCO.gov/wildfire.


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