COLORADO SPRINGS — Thanks to the recent weather activity that has provided some much-needed moisture, the City of Fountain, Manitou Springs, and El Paso County have all moved from Stage Two to Stage One fire restrictions effective June 3.

Sheriff Elder with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office downgraded to Stage One for all of unincorporated El Paso County. Stage One restrictions go into effect immediately, and the following are prohibited:

  1. Open burning, exceptions being fires and campfires within permanently constructed fire grates in developed campgrounds and picnic grounds; charcoal grills and wood burning stoves at private residences in areas cleared of all flammable materials.
  2. The sale or use of fireworks.
  3. Outdoor smoking except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.

Manitou Springs Fire Chief, John K. Forsett, also ordered Manitou Springs to move from Stage Two to Stage One, effective immediately. These restrictions are in alignment with El Paso County and the City of Colorado Springs and 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.
  2. 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.

These restrictions do not apply to gas-fueled grills used out-of-doors, or to fires within liquid-fueled or gas-fueled stoves. Additionally, compliant fireplaces and wood-burning stoves within private residences are not included.

Stage One restrictions went into effect in the City of Fountain at noon Friday as well:

All residents should still exercise caution and follow all restrictions.