With Little Moisture In Sight, Boulder County Enacts New Fire Ban
With a record hot and dry August coming to a close, Boulder County officials are concerned about potential wildfire danger going into this Labor Day weekend.
Boulder County had a very wet July with 5 inches of rain. But only 0.36 inches of rain fell in August. Sergeant Dave Booton oversees Boulder County’s Emergency Services. He says the recent heat has erased all the gains made in July.
“For this Labor Day weekend, usually we have a lot of [people] that are in the mountains. With the level one burn ban, we just ask that folks use the designated forest service campgrounds that have the approved camp fire grates and those types of things. We don’t want people going out into the wilderness and starting camp fires.”
A level one ban [.pdf] prohibits open burning including fireworks on all unincorporated county lands west of the Foothills Highway and all areas west of Broadway in Boulder. The ban also includes the Rabbit Mountain open space east of Lyons.
County officials have good reason to be concerned about conditions this weekend. The devastating Fourmile Canyon fire began on Labor Day 2010. At that time it was the costliest fire in Colorado's history, burning nearly 10 square miles and destroying 169 homes.
Sergeant Booton says open burning could be off limits for awhile.
"The ban will be in effect through Labor Day and possibly a lot longer, maybe till winter. It all depends on when we start to get more moisture and how much."
He added the current restrictions might be increased to a full ban if hot and dry conditions continue.