The Boulder County Sheriff's Office has moved to a second level fire ban in the western county, banning all fires, campfires and stove fires on public and private lands.
The ban includes charcoal grills and barbecues, and coal and woodburning stoves, including in developed campgrounds and picnic areas.
Reasons given for the more restrictive ban include increasing fire danger, lack of moisture and a forecast for hot temperatures. Other factors were an increase in recreational activities and the fact that firefighting resources are strained by large wildfires elsewhere in the region.
The ban encompasses essentially the entire county west of Colo. 93, Broadway in Boulder and U.S. 36, along with all of the Rabbit Mountain Open Space area and to the west of its western boundary, according to a news release.
Boulder County in June banned open burning, but had allowed fires in constructed, permanent fire pits.
Along with campfires and grills, the new ban prohibits fireworks; explosives; shooting guns for recreational purposes; smoking outside of closed vehicles, developed recreation sites or stopped in an area at least 3 feet in diameter clear of flammable items; operating a chainsaw without a spark arrester and fire extinguisher and a shovel handy; welding outdoors; and driving off established roads, motorized trails or established parking areas, except when parking in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the vehicle.
Allowed are stoves, grills and lanterns using pressurized liquid or gas that include shut-off valves when used in an area at least three feet or more from flammable material. Also allowed is shooting while hunting with a license on public lands.
People violating the county's ban are subject to a $1,000 fine and higher fines are possible for subsequent offenses in addition to civil penalties.
The ban does not extend to incorporated areas of the county like towns and cities, but residents in those areas must abide by local ordinances.