Summit County Shooting Range opens to law enforcement; Stage 2 fire restrictions remain in place
KEYSTONE — The Summit County Shooting Range has reopened for law enforcement training activities but will remain closed to the public until further notice.
The range has been fully closed since Aug. 14, when county commissioners enacted Stage 2 fire restrictions in the area. But local law enforcement now will be able to make use of the facility for training purposes.
“Our law enforcement agencies need to have access to the range for regular firearms training activities,” County Manager Scott Vargo said in a news release. “We’re comfortable that the associated fire risk is very low, because these trainings take place in a controlled manner with adequate supervision and public safety personnel present at all times.”
Firearms training will be limited to local law enforcement officers and the Colorado Mountain College Law Enforcement Training Academy, and the range will be open from 8-11 a.m. Mondays through Fridays to limit noise impacts to surrounding residential neighborhoods.
Of note, the ongoing range closure isn’t expected to impede the county’s sound study, meant to identify potential mitigation measures that could reduce the range’s noise impacts to neighboring residential areas. The contracted acoustical consultant will be working with local law enforcement agencies during shooting activity to assess noise levels and exposure from firearms typically used at the range.
Officials also are confident the shooting range can open in this limited capacity with minimal impact on fire danger.
“With the cooler overnight temperatures and subsequent higher humidity levels … our level of risk for rapid fire growth during this (morning) time period is reduced,” Summit Fire & EMS Chief Travis Davis said in the release.
Stage 2 fire restrictions remain in place throughout Summit County despite the recent snow and low temperatures. An extended period of warm, dry weather is expected to return by the end of the week, according to weather forecasts. And the fall season can bring periods of heightened fire potential with low humidity and gusty winds, even as nights grow longer and temperatures continue to cool.
During Stage 2 fire restrictions, all campfires, backyard fires and fireworks are strictly prohibited, and all of Summit County’s law enforcement agencies will be enforcing the prohibitions. Through an intergovernmental agreement, the towns of Blue River, Breckenridge, Dillon, Frisco and Silverthorne have all joined the county in enacting Stage 2 fire restrictions.
For more information about current fire restrictions and wildfire prevention, visit SummitCountyCo.gov/wildfire.
Prohibited under Stage 2 fire restrictions:
- Fires in picnic areas, campgrounds, private property and forested areas
- Use of charcoal grills
- Fires in chimeneas or any other outdoor fireplace or manufactured recreational fire device, regardless of any permit previously issued by the local fire district
- Use of explosives, tracer ammunition or explosive targets
- Use or sale of fireworks
- Pile burns, regardless of previously issued permits
- Inflation or propulsion of a hot air balloon
- Use of any engine without a properly functioning spark-arresting device.
Allowed under Stage 2 fire restrictions:
- Use of gas or wood-pellet grills
- Any fire contained within a fireplace, stove, wood-burning stove or pellet stove designed for and located within a fully enclosed permanent structure
- Use of off-highway vehicles, which must remain on designated routes. If parked, off-highway vehicles must be in a barren area free of flammable vegetation within 10 feet of the route or in a designated parking area.
- Smoking, which must take place a minimum of 3 feet from natural vegetation or other flammable material. All smoking materials, including cigarettes and matches, must be fully extinguished, cooled and disposed of in a designated receptacle.
- Use of an open-flame torch device, which requires the operator to have immediate access to a fire extinguisher and be at least 15 feet from natural vegetation or other flammable material.
- Use of a chain saw, which requires the operator to have immediate access to a minimum 2A:10B:C dry chemical fire extinguisher.
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