Heather Willard / NewsBreak Denver
(Douglas County, Colo.) Douglas County residents are now under Stage 1 fire restrictions, by order of the Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Tony Spurlock ordered that as of April 21, open burning and use of fireworks are prohibited due to the ongoing Red Flag warnings, issued by the National Weather Service, as well as upcoming high wind watches, fire weather watches and hazardous weather.
“Extreme fire weather conditions are expected on Friday, with the most dangerous conditions existing in the foothills of Jefferson, Park and Douglas counties,” the NWS Boulder wrote in its forecast Thursday. “Very warm temperatures, humidities of 10% or less, and winds gusting to 40-60 mph would create dangerous conditions, making any new wildfire difficult if not impossible to control.
The weather service cautioned residents living in vulnerable areas to have a go-bag ready with important documents, medications, and valuables in case they need to evacuate.
Under Stage 1 fire restrictions, Douglas County residents can still grill using stoves, fireplaces inside buildings, charcoal grills in developed residential or commercial areas and fires in wood-burning stoves located in buildings only.
Individuals can also have small recreational fires in developed picnic or campground sites if the fires are contained in fixed permanent metal or steel fire pits — rock fire rings are considered temporary and not permanent. People must keep flames under four feet.
Responsible residents over 18 years old can also supervise the use of charcoal grills, tiki torches or patio fire pits, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Violating fire restrictions could lead to a fine of up to $1,000 and a $10 surcharge, under Colorado Revised Statutes.