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Sheriff Enacts Ban in Effort to Prevent Wildfires

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Jefferson County, CO. – Effective at noon on July 9, 2020, Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader will enact a Stage 2 Fire Ban for Jefferson County. This temporary Stage 2 Fire Ban supersedes all previous fire restrictions and bans.


This ban is being enacted due to the continuing high fire danger condition within Jefferson County. Pursuant to the Annual Operating Plan regarding the implementation of fire restrictions and fire bans, and due to the continuing high fire danger condition within Jefferson County, the following activities are prohibited pursuant to a Stage 2 fire ban:

  • Building, maintaining, attending or using any fire.
  • Recreational fires, including recreational campfires.
  • Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area of at least six feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all combustible material. (2015 IFC 310.8)
  • Open burning including “bon fires” that require a permit from the fire authority having jurisdiction. (2015 IFC 105.6.32)
  •  The USE of ALL fireworks, as defined below.
  • Shooting tracer rounds or explosive type targets.
  •  Chain saws shall only be operated with a USDA or SAE approved spark arresting device properly installed and in proper working order, and having an extinguishing source, water, pressurized water extinguisher, or a proper chemical pressurized extinguisher large enough to handle nearby hazards and possessing at least one large size pointed shovel with an overall length of at least thirty-six inches. All must be readily available for quick use.
  • Welding and cutting torch appliances, as described below in the definition section, shall only be operated within an area that is barren or cleared of all combustible material at least 30 feet in all directions from the operating equipment. (2015 IFC 308.1.6) This operation may only be done during a declared “Fire Ban” upon receiving a permit from the Fire Authority having jurisdiction over the operating location. (2015 IFC 105.6.31)
  • Use of an explosive initiation system requiring a burning fuse line.

Exemptions approved under this temporary Stage 2 Fire Ban:

  • Use of liquid or gas fueled appliances.
  • Approved wood pellet grills.
  • Permitted fires by persons with a permit specifically authorizing the prohibited act such as professional fireworks displays. Contact must be made with the permitting authority to verify the status of permits issued prior to the establishment of burn restrictions.
  • Fire Department/District training fires.
  • Burning of explosive wastes by manufacturers of explosives in areas zoned for industrial use, when the burning is supervised by the fire protection district.
  • Open fires or open burning by any federal, state, or local officer in the performance of official fire suppression functions.
  • Individuals operating under any of the above exemptions shall take adequate measures to prevent uncontrolled fires. Possible measures include, but are not limited to:  Containers of adequate water or dry soil nearby.  Shovels, fire extinguishers, or other extinguishing agents nearby.  Coordination with the local fire department or district to be on scene or standby during an activity.

FIREWORKS: As defined in section 12-28-101(3) C.R.S, and shall specifically include “permissible fireworks” as defined in section 12-28-101(8) C.R.S.

INTERNATIONAL FIRE CODE (IFC): Latest adopted Fire Code within Jefferson County; currently the 2015 edition.

LIQUID OR GAS FUELED APPLIANCES: Appliances such as fire pits, grills, camp stoves, and Tiki torches that burn liquid or gaseous fuels and can be shut off. This does not include any device that burns solid fuels such as wood or charcoal and which must be extinguished.

OPEN FIRE AND OPEN BURNING: Any outdoor fire larger than a recreational fire and not contained within a portable outdoor fireplace. This includes but is not limited to campfires, bonfires, warming fires, the lighting of any fused explosives, permissible fireworks, the use of model rockets, “sky lanterns”, and the burning of fence lines or rows, grass lands, fields, farm lands, ditches, range lands, and wild lands. Permits from the fire district are required for open fires.

PORTABLE OUTDOOR FIREPLACE: A commercially purchased portable, outdoor, solid-fuel-burning fireplace that may be constructed of steel, concrete, clay, or other non-combustible material. A portable outdoor fireplace may be open in design, or may be equipped with a small hearth opening and a short chimney or chimney opening at the top. These devices must be operated according to the manufacturers’ instructions with all covers, screens, spark arresters, and grates in place. Portable outdoor fireplaces shall not be operated within 30 feet of a structure or combustible material.

RECREATIONAL FIRE: An outdoor fire burning material other than rubbish or debris where the fuel being burned is not contained in a portable outdoor fireplace or barbecue grill and has a total fuel area of 3 feet or less in diameter and 2 feet or less in height for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth, or similar purposes. This includes fires in barrels and drums; fixed, permanent outdoor fireplaces; and barbecue pit fires.

UNDEVELOPED AREAS: Lands that are not groomed, manicured, or watered, where grasses, brush and trees have been allowed to grow in a natural environment. This includes green belts that are not landscaped or manicured, open space lands, non-manicured park lands, and other areas where the fire hazard presented by the vegetation is determined to be an undue wildland fire hazard.

WELDING AND CUTTING TORCH APPLIANCES: Gas cylinder mixtures, electric and/or portable powered welders, and cutting appliances which produce heat, flame, sparks, molten metal slag, etc.

Pursuant to County Policy Part 3, Chapter 6, Section 2, Authorizing the Declaration of Open Fire Bans, violations of these prohibitions, upon conviction, is punishable by a fine of not more than $600.00. Such act(s) violate section(s) 102.8 and/or 308.2 of the International Fire Code.

This temporary fire ban becomes effective at 12:00 P.M. on July 9, 2020 and shall remain in effect until superseded or repealed.

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