‘Even sparklers’: Breckenridge, Frisco join county with Stage 2 fire ban | SummitDaily.com

‘Even sparklers’: Breckenridge, Frisco join county with Stage 2 fire ban

Caddie Nath
Summit Daily News

BRECKENRIDGE – All open flames and fireworks are now banned in Breckenridge as the final local town joined the county and the White River National Forest under a Stage 2 fire ban.

Building, maintaining or using any kind of flame outdoors – including campfires, coal and wood burning stoves, outdoor candles, gas-fueled heaters or lamps, tiki torches, fire pits and outdoor fireplaces – is now illegal within town limits.

The Frisco Town Council approved a Stage 2 ban Tuesday as well.

Disposing of cigarettes, cigars, matches or other burning objects outside or smoking at all at the Breckenridge Golf Club or in any forested areas is also prohibited.

Breckenridge penalties for violations of the fire ban are harsher than those imposed by the U.S. Forest Service or the county government and can include fines of up to $999 and possible jail sentences of nearly one year for convicted offenders, according to a town statement.

“In this time of extreme fire danger it is incumbent on all of us to be diligent in our use of fire-producing products,” Breckenridge police chief Shannon Haynes stated in the town release. “The department will take a zero-tolerance approach to violations of the mayor’s declaration …”

Breckenridge Mayor John Warner enacted the Stage 2 fire ban by a special declaration Tuesday night, similar to the executive order issued by Gov. John Hickenlooper to impose a statewide fire ban earlier this month.

The town council gave the mayor the power to impose the ban through an emergency ordinance, approved after a single reading Tuesday night, bypassing the longer traditional legislative process that can take several weeks.

The council also closed a small gap in its ordinance banning fireworks. The law usually allows small fireworks, like sparklers, to be used only between July 3 and July 5 in wetter years. This year, the council agreed to remove even that allowance, prohibiting even the smallest fireworks over July Fourth and the rest of the year.

“Even sparklers,” confirmed Breckenridge spokeswoman Kim Dykstra-DiLallo. “I hate to say it, but it is just too dangerous right now to risk it.”

Summit County’s fire danger rating scaled back to “very high” from “extreme” Wednesday after a short-lived storm showered the county Tuesday night, but conditions remain some of the worst on record, and long-range forecasts predict ongoing dry conditions.

“We need the public’s help to prevent human-caused fires,” Red, White and Blue Fire District chief Lori Miller stated in a recent release on the county’s fire ban. “Stay vigilant We are in this together for the long haul, and we must rely on each other to be as prepared and safe as possible.”

Aggressive wildland fires continued to burn across the Front Range and other parts of the state Wednesday.

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