JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Extreme fire danger across Colorado has prompted some metro area communities to take action to prevent more fires.
Charcoal grills are off limits in many parks and even some suburban backyards.
Firefighters from West Metro Fire and Rescue say they get several calls a day from people wanting to know if they can use their grills. Firefighters and police will be out checking neighborhoods because there are different restrictions.
Gary Armstrong with West Metro Fire took CBS4’s Andrea Lopez on a drive through Bear Creek Lake Park to help explain the new restrictions.
“Because of the situation that we’re in that benefit of being able to grill outside in a really dangerous area; it just doesn’t justify that risk,” Armstrong said.
The timing coincides with parks and campgrounds beginning to fill up rapidly on weekends.
“Certainly not to take away fun from people. It’s just really prudent that we limit the amount of people producing sources,” Armstrong said.
The only things that can be burned west of C-470 and Highway 93 are propane and gas grills. Charcoal grills are allowed east of that dividing line at homes. But in parks people cannot bring in personal charcoal grills. They must us the grill provided by the park that are fixed into the ground with no danger of tipping over.
“The threat of having a bigger fire to the west becomes greater.”
Armstrong said they can issue citations to those who disobey the ban but also said in most cases they just give a warning.
At the Matthew/Winters Open Space Park in Jefferson County rangers have posted signs and locked metal plates over all the park grills.
“I don’t recall seeing Red Flag day after Red Flag day after Red Flag day.”
The reason the restrictions are stricter to the west is because of all the homes resting in what’s called the “urban interface,” and area that goes into the foothills and canyons with trees and brush dangerously close to homes.
– Visit CBSDenver.com’s Wildfire Resources section.
– Read recent Wildfire stories.
Wildfire Photo Galleries