ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4) – When counties and the forest managers put open fire bans into effect, most of them include smoking outdoors. Some of those bans extend to parks, trails and golf courses.

Now firefighters are making another plea to help with fire prevention, pleading with smokers not to toss their cigarettes anywhere outside.

A burning cigarette is likely the cause of a fire that destroyed much of an apartment building in Aurora on Sunday. Firefighters around the state are using it as example of the importance of being careful.

“People are absolutely being careless,” said Arvada city spokeswoman Wendy Forbes. “We actually received a handful of citizen complaints, asking what in the world the city could do to help prevent this from taking place.”

The subject of cigarettes came up at the Waldo Canyon Fire site this week.

“Just as early as yesterday you see people driving by flipping cigarette butts out the window,” said Colorado Springs Fire Chief Rich Brown on Tuesday. “It’s never okay to do that, but right now it’s almost unconscionable.”

The heat and the lack of rain have created tinder dry conditions statewide, with trees and shrubs perfect fuel for a lit cigarette or smoldering butt.

Forbes wants smokers to think twice before tossing a cigarette.

“It’s just a risk we can’t afford to have.”


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