DENVER, Colo. (KKCO) On Sunday, Governor John Hickenlooper lifted a statewide fire ban because extreme fire conditions have abated in all 64 Colorado counties as a result of current rainfall and short- and long-term forecasts predicting cooler and wetter weather. Local fire restrictions may still be in place.
“Mother Nature is finally giving us some relief,” Hickenlooper said. “Even though the 2012 wildfire season is far from over and still challenging, we believe conditions are such that local authorities and federal land managers ought to resume control over fire bans in their jurisdictions. Many counties have fire bans in place that will not change as a result of this Executive Order.”
More than 60 counties are forecast to move to moderate or low danger over the next seven days, though the wildfire season will continue for a few months and a few counties continue to experience high fire danger.
On Sunday, existing major fires in Colorado are well contained and no new fires are being monitored or supported by the Colorado Office of Emergency Management. The High Park fire is 100 percent contained, Waldo Canyon fire is 98 percent contained, the Weber fire is 90 percent contained, and the Little Sand fire is 40 percent contained.
“We commend the people of Colorado for complying with the fire ban and the efforts of fire fighters, local law enforcement, federal land managers, Colorado National Guard, United States military and all other first responders for their assistance and collaboration during this wildfire season,” Hickenlooper said. “We will continue to monitor the fire danger across the state and re-enact the state-wide ban if necessary as conditions change.”
The fire ban ordered June 14 applied to open burning, including campfires, warming fires, charcoal grill fires, fused explosives and private use of fireworks.
“We encourage Coloradans to be ever vigilant and continue to use extreme safety precautions when using open flames or undertaking any activity that poses a risk of starting a fire,” Hickenlooper said.
All local bans remain in place. Smoking outdoors, charcoal grills, open flames, and all fireworks are prohibited until further notice. Violators will be cited with a class 3 misdemeanor, and a fine up to $750.