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Potential burn ban in Colorado Springs could affect Memorial Day weekend

Potential burn ban in Colorado Springs could affect Memorial Day weekend

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., (KRDO) -- With fire restrictions already in place in Colorado Springs, the fire marshal is now considering issuing a burn ban.

With the dry weather, high winds, and low moisture this Spring, Fire Marshal for the Colorado Springs Department Brett Lacey says fire season this year is early.

If the current weather pattern continues, officials believe in two to three weeks fire restrictions can increase and the county could enter a burn ban, which at that point no fire activities will be allowed.

"If things continue to worsen what we will do is move into a ban where we just have to tell everybody you can't use any kind of wood, pellets, any kind of combustible ordinary combustible material because we cannot risk any embers or sparks traveling anywhere so the only thing we can do at that point is use liquid petroleum grills, or natural gas, fire pits or grills to cook on, nothing that produces embers or spark can be used around town," said Lacey.

The last time the city and county went into a burn ban was on August 24, 2020, and lasted until November 2, 2020.

Right now -- people who live in Colorado Springs are prohibited from starting recreational fires under the current fire restrictions.

But in the next few weeks those rules could soon get stricter -- causing concern for some who plan to camp and grill on memorial day weekend.

"We are very concerned as we move into the warmer weather in spring and moving into summer because we are not seeing a weather pattern change and the risk to our community is extremely serious," added Lacey.

This potential ban would impact everyone including those hoping to camp over the holiday.

"There is something that goes hand in hand with having a campfire and s'mores and cooking out, it definitely changes the way that you are going to celebrate," added a local camper, Devin Opshal.

Under current conditions outdoor BBQ grills fueled by wood, pellets, or charcoal are allowed.

But under a burn ban the only way to grill would be on a liquid propane gas, natural gas, or liquid fuel.

Camp sites would have to take precautions too, because bonfires, outdoor smoking, cooking, and grilling in all city owned parks and open spaces would be prohibited.

"My fear is people becoming apathetic and losing track of the fact that we are in a very serious situation right now, everyday you are reporting fires that we are having in town and we are one significant spark away from a very serious incident," added Lacey.

   Fire officials are asking you to be very careful right now and if you see the slightest amount smoke in the area to report it.

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Jasmine Arenas

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