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Behind the decision to lift firework ban in unincorporated El Paso County

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. -- The El Paso County Sheriff's Office announced a rescinded firework ban in unincorporated El Paso County. The press release states:

Effective immediately, the fireworks ban has been rescinded for unincorporated El Paso County. Our county has various topographical features where some terrain may experience large amounts of moisture, but other portions remain dry and may have a higher risk of fire, but at this time does not warrant going into fire restrictions.
Many of the Fire Districts in El Paso County request you remain extremely cautious with the use of any flame producing device and/or fire.
Pursuant to CRS 32-1-1002(3)(a) the Chief of each Fire Protection District has authority over the supervision of all fires within their district and the local Fire Districts may have codes, regulations, policies or standards that may still be restrictive and/or prohibit certain activities as it relates to fire and open flame. You must contact your local fire district before engaging in fire related activities. Some jurisdictions may also require a permit other than what is required by the county for fire related activities.

According to Deputy Fire Warden Kevin Junglen, this means that areas outside of a city limits may now use fireworks such as fountains, sparklers, and other small fireworks that are not aerial.

"The rule of thumb is, if anything that you light and explodes or leaves the ground is probably illegal," says Deputy Fire Warden Junglen.

All fireworks are prohibited inside city limit areas, such as Colorado Springs and Fountain.

Deputy Fire Warden Junglen explains that fuel moisture levels are what determine whether fire and firework restrictions are lifted or implemented. In this case, because of recent rainfalls, the levels allow for some small firework use. He says the Sheriff, Deputy Fire Warden, the National Weather Service, and other Fire officials will continue to monitor weather and fire danger conditions and may enact additional restrictions as needed in the days and weeks to come.

"Just because we’ve relaxed the restrictions on fireworks doesn’t mean its not dry out there," he says.

"It doesn’t mean the fuels are receptive and fuels our vegetation. Remember that grasses are a lot taller than they were, the sun is baking them, and drying them out.”

Deputy Fire Warden Junglen wants to remind the public to always have plenty of water or a fire extinguisher close by should you choose to use the fireworks now allowed in unincorporated El Paso County.

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Natalie Haddad

Natalie is a traffic reporter and MMJ for Good Morning Colorado and KRDO. You can learn more about her here.

Comments

2 Comments

  1. Finally, the El Paso County Administrators realized that people were going to celebrate our nations Independence Day by setting off banned fireworks, regardless of legality. So the county may as well just legalize them because they cannot control them, mitigate them, or stop them. Next is getting Colorado Springs and the other incorporated cities to now understand this fact as well.

  2. That should reduce the amount of fireworks on the 4th. After all the idiot rule is simply that it’s no fun when it’s legal.

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