AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – The Lower North Fork Fire, High Park and then the Waldo Canyon Fire erupted across the Front Range last year making it the most costly wildfire season in Colorado history. This year the fire danger is significantly less, but it’s still considered high across the state.
Nothing beats the glow of a campfire, especially at night. But last year with a fire ban in place, having a campfire meant campers could be fined hundreds of dollars or more. Fortunately, this is not last year.
At Cherry Creek State Park on Sunday it was a typical day with fun on the reservoir, fun on the shore, but the one thing missing at campgrounds all over the state last year, was campfires.
“It feels like real camping this year,” Tom Sherrick from Highlands Ranch said.
Open flames were banned in 2012 because of the fire danger. That meant something extra special was missing for Colorado campers.
“It certainly doesn’t leave the same kind of memories for the kids, just being able to sit around and roast marshmallows,” camper Jim Mooney said.
The Mooney family has been camping together for years, but now that Mooney’s children are adults living along the Front Range, camping remains the glue keeping them together.
“You missed it last night, we had a huge big prime rib on a spit turning out here,” Mooney said.
A wet spring gives the greenery everybody wants, and now that the burn is back, so are the plans for happy campers.
“We have got camping tours planned, so we’ll be going about every other weekend,” Sherrick said.
Mooney’s family made the best of it last year, but they know a propane grill is no substitute for a campfire.
“No, it’s not the real thing. It’s not the same thing as having smoke and all your clothing smelling like a campfire when you’re done,” Mooney said.
Despite the fact campfires are allowed, campers still need to remember that campfires should be started in designated areas and to never leave them unattended. When putting them out, make sure they’re completely out.