(EL PASO COUNTY, Colo.) — Effective Wednesday, Dec. 7, Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs will enter burn restrictions due to current and forecasted weather conditions and the potential danger of grass and forest fires.

Manitou Springs

On Tuesday, Dec. 6, Manitou Springs said in a press release that low precipitation levels, high wind events, and dormancy of vegetation had inspired Manitou Springs Fire Chief John K. Forsett to declare Stage 1 Fire Restrictions effective at noon on Wednesday.

“I am thankful and want to recognize the extensive cooperation with members of the Pikes Peak Region Wildfire Preparedness Group (PPRWPG),” said Chief Forsett. “The thoughtful data analysis and local and regional opinion of resource availability shared by members of the PPRWPG is invaluable.”

Stage 1 Restrictions are defined as follows:

  1. Open fires and open burning are prohibited, except for fires in permanently constructed fire rings within the city’s RV and camping parks; private residential charcoal grills and smokers, wood burning fireplaces (chiminea), or fire pits, provided they have proper fitting screen covers and they are separated by at least 15-feet from structures or other combustible material.
  1. Outdoor smoking of any tobacco product or similar material in cigarettes, cigars, or pipes is prohibited, except that smoking is permitted within 15 feet of a city-approved disposal receptacle at city approved locations. Discarding lighted cigarettes, cigars or pipe tobacco products outdoors, other than in a city-approved receptacle is also prohibited.

Manitou Springs Fire added that should the National Weather Service issue a Red Flag Warning, Manitou Springs will enter Stage 2 burn ban orders.

Stage 2 Burn Bans include:  

  1. Open burning ban, defined as the prohibited use of any outside fire. This includes all campfires and warming fires, all solid fuel-burning fireplaces (fire pits, fire tables, chimineas, etc.) and cooking appliances (charcoal barbeque grills or pellet smokers and barbeque grills). 
    • This ban excludes liquid propane-fueled or gas-fueled open-flame cooking devices (such as liquid propane barbeque grills or camping stoves) with a 10-foot separation from combustible materials (clearance not applicable to single-family homes). The ban does not apply to compliant fireplaces and wood-burning stoves inside homes. 
  1. Outdoor smoking ban, defined as the prohibited use of any tobacco product or similar material in cigarettes, cigars or pipes outdoors. This excludes smoking in enclosed buildings or structures, and along Manitou Avenue. Discarding a lighted cigarette, cigar or pipe tobacco product is strictly prohibited. 
  2. Prohibited sale and use of fireworks and explosives, defined as sale of any and all types of fireworks, and use of any explosives not limited to fireworks, fuses or blasting caps and rockets. 
  3. Dangerous equipment use, defined as the operation of any equipment outdoors that emits sparks (such as grinder or chainsaw) or open flame (welding or operating an acetylene or other torch) without a chemical-pressurized fire extinguisher equal to or exceeding a rating of 2A 10BC readily available to the operator. 

Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs will also be under a Burn Restriction Order, effective Wednesday at noon.

Click here to view the Colorado Springs Fire Department’s (CSFD) full burn restriction guide of what is allowed and what is not allowed.

Activities that are not allowed under the Burn Restriction Order:

  1. Recreational fires – any outdoor fire or campfire where the fire is not contained in a portable or fixed fireplace or appliance.
  2. Small engine equipment – operating small internal combustion engines such as chainsaws, without a properly installed, maintained, and functioning spark arrestor.
  3. Outdoor smoking – no outdoor smoking in all city-owned parks and open spaces.