LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Red flag fire conditions in Larimer County have prompted county commissioners to vote on a county-wide open fire ban, but with the use and sale of fireworks in parts of the county still legal, some people are confused.

This time last year Pete’s Fireworks stand in unincorporated Larimer County was already closed after a statewide fire ban burned business. But this year a different set of rules is keeping stands like Pete Sakala’s open for business.

In business for decades, Sakala is breathing a sigh of relief.

“We never did get open last year,” Sakala said. “We set up here and then they came and they told us the government closed everything down … we lost a lot of money last year.”

With fire danger on a hair trigger, like a car fire that sparked a 3-acre grass fire Tuesday afternoon on Highway 287, an all-out ban on fireworks was proposed by the Larimer County sheriff.

“We’re trying to keep it as safe as we can without inconveniencing people too much,” John Schulz with the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office said.

But it was rejected by commissioners.

“You can’t just go out and light a fire anymore. If it gets wet we can always lift them. If it gets substantially hotter and substantially drier we can take it to the next level,” Commissioner Lew Gaiter III said.

An open fire ban is now in effect throughout unincorporated areas of Larimer County. A fireworks ban is now in effect west of County Road 19 and north of County Road 60 through Sept 3.

“We’ve got the fire ban, which is the most important thing; and the fireworks in those areas that are most prone to having problems,” Schulz said.

Both city and county law enforcement officials have vowed step up patrols during the bans. Those caught violating the law could face up to a $1,000 fine.

Wildfire Resources

– Visit’s Wildfire Resources section.

– Read recent Wildfire stories.

Wildfire Photo Galleries

– See images from the most destructive wildfires (Waldo Canyon, High Park and Fourmile) and largest wildfire (Hayman) in Colorado history.


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