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Rocky Mountain National Park Tightens Fire Ban Further

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Larry Galletti of Denver took this photo of Mills Lake on Sept. 19, 2011.

Larry Galletti of Denver took this photo of Mills Lake on Sept. 19, 2011.

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GALLERIES: COLORADO'S WORST WILDFIRES

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. (CBS4) – National Park officials on Monday announced they are banning all fires in Rocky Mountain National Park until further notice.

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed an executive order last Thursday that makes the use of private fireworks illegal and bans open burning across the state, but fires are still allowed at established campsites, picnic grounds or recreation sites in constructed, permanent fire pits or fire grates in Colorado.

The national park will not allow those fires now, but they will allow “petroleum fueled stoves and grills in designated backcountry campsites, as well as developed campgrounds and picnic areas.”

The park is also being careful with smokers, instructing them they must only smoke in “enclosed vehicles, parking lots or developed areas that are cleared of all flammable materials for at least three feet in diameter.” Smokers are also instructed to “properly extinguish all lighted smoking materials in ashtrays.”

The move is being made because of the extremely dry conditions and high fire danger. The devastating High Park Fire has been burning to the northeast of the park since June 9 and other fires have broken out recently in the Pike National Forest.

The ban is set to remain in effect until further notice. Similar bans were in effect in the park in September 2010 and in the summer of 2002.

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