Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor and Pueblo City Fire Chief Christopher P. Riley announce a cautious move from “Stage II” and “High Fire Danger” Restrictions to the less limiting Stage I Restrictions. The move, effective 5:00 P.M. today (Wednesday, July11), is the result of very careful monitoring of specific sets of data over the last several days. Below are the guidelines both officials have determined to be more appropriate for the current conditions.
Stage I Restrictions (ordinance verbiage):
• Open burning, except fires and campfires within constructed fire grates inside developed camp and picnic grounds, charcoal grills and wood burning stoves at private residences. These areas must be cleared of all flammable materials. (Exemptions allowed for agricultural burning on a per case basis may be granted by appropriate fire jurisdiction)
• The sale or use of fireworks without a permit.
• Outdoor smoking except inside a vehicle or stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren of all flammable materials.
Specific differences in the two stages:
· Outdoor smoking is again permitted outdoors IF there is a 3-foot clearing of any flammable material.
· Outdoor welding is again permitted without the strict provisions.
· Outdoor fires are permitted SO LONG AS flames are confined to grates in developed camp sites (still NO fire-pits on private property).
· Charcoal grills are again allowed.
Sheriff Taylor believes the risk is not gone completely and urges citizen’s to continue to use caution. “Conditions have changed considerably over the last week but citizens should not mistake – ‘It hasn’t happened’, with, ‘It won’t happen’. Everyone still needs to be smart about this very real risk.”
Chief Riley has a similar message for residents inside the city limits. “We have been fortunate this year but right now remaining vigilant is critical. The low number of fireworks violations last week is a true testament to how seriously our citizens took these restrictions and I am grateful for their continued cooperation.”
The move coincides with the easing of restrictions by the Bureau of Land Management earlier today. The U.S. Forest Service is also reviewing and considering an adjustment of their restrictions. Until then, visitors to State or Federal Parks in Pueblo County must abide by the Park restrictions.