Breckenridge fire district continues controlled burn restrictions
Breckenridge’s Red, White and Blue Fire District announced Wednesday they would continue controlled burn restrictions this summer. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, Red, White and Blue Fire will not issue control burn permits to homeowners for slash removal.
The district started restricting burn permits in 2013, after receiving calls of fires being left unattended, and false alarms where residents mistook the smoke for a wildfire.
“The year before we put the restriction in place, we had two of them,” said RWB Fire deputy chief Jay Nelson. “One on Peak 7 burned the front yard on the individual’s property. We were lucky that we were able to get to it quickly.”
Nelson said that the unattended fire spread after the wind picked up that day, but the wind fortunately died down before the fire spread to any other houses.
The same year, firefighters faced a similar incident in Lakeview Meadows, when a man burning slash in his yard went to the gas station while the fire was still going.
“The yard was on fire and had started burning the fence when he arrived,” Nelson said. “We’re trying to take that element out.”
Nelson suggested that homeowners participate in the county’s chipper program this summer, instead of burning the unwanted wood. The program, which is in its second year, brings trucks neighborhood to neighborhood in the summer to gather chip and recycle slash from people’s yards. Collections will run from June 28 to Oct. 2, with information about neighborhood stops posted to http://www.co.summit.co.us/chippingprogram.
Thanks to a few spring storms, fire danger is low up through memorial weekend. But Nelson expects conditions to pick up, with the county looking at an average summer for wildfire danger.
“During the summer our weather conditions, especially winds, can change abruptly causing a controlled burn to quickly escalate and endanger neighboring properties,” RWB Fire chief Jim Keating said in a statement.
If fire danger levels are low to moderate following Labor Day weekend, the district will lift the ban on slash burning.
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