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Jefferson County Bans Smoking In All Parks, Open Spaces

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

GALLERIES: COLORADO'S WORST WILDFIRES

GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) – The high fire danger across the Front Range has prompted Jefferson County officials to ban smoking in all parks until conditions get safer.

Officials say it’s just not worth the risk right now.

Late on Thursdays signs saying NO SMOKING IN PARK were posted throughout all of Jefferson County Parks and Open Space.

Tom Hoby, direcor of Jefferson County Parks and Open Space, said the measure is just another layer of protection in the effort to prevent a wildfire.

“We want to try to eliminate as many risks as we can,” Hoby told CBS4. “Any kind of open flame in this kind of setting where we have such extreme fire danger is a risk.”

The smoking ban was ordered in conjuction with the fire ban for the western portion of the county that was ordered by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office.

Hoby said enforcing the ban will be the responsibility of rangers.

“Frankly, last year we had a smoking ban and didn’t have any issues and not a need for enforcement,” Hoby said.

As CBS4 interviewed people about the issue on Thursday the response to the news of the smoking ban was positive.

“You shouldn’t be throwing any fire around,” Patrick Williams said.

“I agree with that. I think it’s a safe measure,” said Marybeth Toerpe, who said she spends time in the parks and open space.

Another parks user agreed it “Would be beneficial to the community.”

Hoby said a fire triggered by an smoldering cigarette “would move very quickly.”

“That’s a very deep concern of ours, and everybody else that lives in this environment,” Hoby said.

Last year’s smoking ban stretched for about 10 weeks. This smoking ban will be lifted once Jefferson County lifts it’s fire ban.

Wildfire Resources

- Visit CBSDenver.com’s Wildfire Resources section.

- Read recent Wildfire stories.

Wildfire Photo Galleries

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

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