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 (Thursday July11), coincides with the move of federal fire officials to Stage I earlier today and was reached after conferring with the Pueblo County Fire Chiefs. 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. (county only)
· Outdoor welding is again permitted without the strict provisions.
· In the County outdoor fires are permitted SO LONG AS flames are confined to grates in developed camp sites (recreational fires are again permitted only in the city per fire code – see agency website for regulations).
· Charcoal grills are again allowed.
Sheriff Taylor knows the risk is not gone completely but believes it is important that citizens aren’t confused by differing restrictions. “We need, as a community, to use extreme caution, especially in our mountain communities where the majority of the fires have been occurring throughout the state. We know our federal partners do their due diligence before they lessen their restrictions and our fire chiefs are comfortable with the move. Pueblo County will adjust our restrictions to be in lockstep with our area partners.”
“Although fire conditions remain at dangerous levels” stated Fire Chief Riley, “we feel confident that easing restrictions at this point in time can be done in a safe manner. We will continue to monitor conditions throughout the summer. I thank our citizens for their diligence over the past month.”