Grand County has launched a Stage 2 fire ban, which came into effect as of Tuesday, June 26.
In all areas of unincorporated Grand County, smoking outside is now illegal, and using charcoal fire grills is also not allowed, even on private property.
Stage 2 bans are already in effect on all public lands within Grand County.
The county ban replaces and incorporates the Stage 1 fire ban county commissioners approved last week. Bonfires, campfires, fires in pits or barrels, fires in chimineas, slash burning and any sort of ditch-burning continue to be prohibited.
Any private use of fireworks is strictly prohibited, and any use of explosives - commercial or private - is also banned.
Exceptions to the Stage 2 ban include: liquid-fueled or gas-fueled stoves, grills or lanterns with buffers clear of vegetation within 3 feet; fireplaces within buildings; smoking in vehicles, private buildings, recreational vehicles (not ATVs) or tents; discharging of firearms (but using tracer or incendiary ammunition is illegal); and welding, as long as the welder has a fire extinguisher and round-point shovel handy within the immediate area.
"This is about being careful, not about stopping everyday activities," Grand County Sheriff Rod Johnson said about the allowance of welding and firearm activities.
Johnson commented on the back-to-back Red Flag Warning days of late, saying the high elevation fire danger is considered "high" in Grand County, and in lower elevations of the county, "extreme."
Violations to the fire ban are $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second, and the court can assess up to $1,000 for each violation. On top of penalties, violators may be required to pay any damages as a result of a fire.
By enactment of the Stage 2 ban in the county, the towns of Winter Park, Fraser and Grand Lake have policies in place that put the county's resolution immediately into effect within those towns. In Granby, the town board was to be presented an emergency ordinance at its Tuesday, June 26, board meeting, which stated fire restrictions somewhat similar to the county's. The Hot Sulphur Springs town board will review the fire ban resolution in July, according to Town Clerk Sandy White.
At Kremmling, the county's fire ban has not yet been enacted, but the town is under the statewide fire ban set by the governor's order.
- Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603.