Not a fun topic, but a necessary one. The Pikes Peak region is generally a very arid place and when we have a wet spring and dry winter, our fuels grow and become tinder dry such as we are experiencing in the 2020 wildfire season.
What makes our outdoor recreation so accessible, the closeness of our Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), is cause for extreme caution.
So when you’re out recreating in our beautiful outdoors – close to home and in the backcountry both – you need to be very cautious and extra aware of the current conditions and regulations.
Here’s some helpful information:
To see Colorado fire restrictions based on County, see the web page HERE.
To access the local USFS Fire Information, see the web page HERE.
We will do our best to keep this updated, but please see the above links for the most accurate and timely information.
Colorado statewide fire ban extended until Oct. 7, 2020
The Executive Order in Colorado bans open burning and fireworks, but allows camp stoves and backyard grills.
TELLER COUNTY: Teller county is currently under an open burning restriction with specific regulations.See specifics here.
EL PASO COUNTY:El Paso County is under stage 1 fire restrictions as of September 23, 2020 See specifics here.
FREMONT COUNTY: Fremont County is currently under a stage 1 fire ban as of September 23, 2020 See specifics here.
PUEBLO COUNTY: Pueblo County is currently under a stage 1 fire ban as of September 23, 2020. See specifics here.
DOUGLAS COUNTY:Douglas County is currently under a stage 1 fire ban as of September 11, 2020. See specifics here.
PARK COUNTY: Park County is currently under a stage 1 fire ban as of September 23, 2020 See specifics here.
*Recent rainfall and cooler temperatures have reduced the danger of wildfire; however, people are encouraged to be vigilant as the danger of fire is always present. Additionally, please be aware that individual fire protection districts may still have restrictions in place within their respective boundaries.
Report a Fire
To report a wildfire call 911 OR the Pueblo Interagency Dispatch Center at 719-553-1600.
When you call, please be prepared to advise the dispatcher of the following information, if you have it:
- Your name
- Your location
- Your phone number
- Direction you are seeing the smoke/fire in
- Exact or approximate location of the fire/smoke
- Best way to access the fire location (only if you are certain of this access)
- Color of the smoke
- Height of the smoke column
- Direction the smoke column is moving (fast or slow as well)
- Anything in the area that might be hazardous to responders
Proper Campfire Management
Colorado’s low humidity has perks but can create dry, dangerous fire conditions. Below are tips and resources to help prevent wildfires and protect our great outdoors:
- Check to see if campfires are permitted. Fire restrictions and bans are set by local jurisdictions and by individual forest agencies. Check with the local sheriff’s office, fire department or the federal forest agency before lighting a campfire.
- If you think it isn’t safe enough to light a campfire — choose to be safe and not start one!
- Keep campfires small and manageable
- Never let a fire burn unattended
- Properly maintain and watch campfires
- Do not build a fire at a site in hazardous, windy or dry conditions
- Use an existing fire ring or fire pit. If there is not an existing fire pit, and pits are allowed, look for a site that is at least fifteen feet away from tent walls, shrubs, trees or other flammable objects. Also beware of low-hanging branches overhead.
- Supervise children and pets when they are near fire
- Never cut live trees or branches for fires
- Properly extinguish and dispose of cigarettes
- See steps below for putting out a fire
Extinguish your campfire properly by following these steps from Smokey Bear and US Forest Service:
- Allow the wood to burn completely to ash, if possible.
- Pour lots of water on the fire, drown all the embers, not just the red ones.
- Pour until hissing sound stops.
- Stir the campfire ashes and embers with a shovel.
- Scrape the sticks and logs to remove any embers.
- Stir and make sure everything is wet and they are cold to the touch.
- If you do not have water, use dirt. Mix enough dirt or sand with the embers. Continue adding and stirring until all material is cool. Remember: Do not bury the fire as the fire will continue to smolder and could catch roots on fire that will eventually get to the surface and start a wildfire.
April 19, 2018, Out There Colorado: Why This Wildfire Season is Particularly Dangerous in Colorado