DENVER (CBS4) – The fire danger is prompting fire bans across Colorado, but those can be confusing. Many people have wondered if they can grill in their own backyard.

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Grilling is permitted, but only when using a lid. The idea is make sure embers don’t fly off and cause a fire.

Memorial Day weekend means many things to many people, but for firefighters it means something extra. Conditions right now are just right for some bad things to happen. A recent fire in Silt is yet another reason why the Bureau of Land Management instituted an open fire ban on federal land. Gunshots on a makeshift firing range sparked a blaze in the brush.

“Just a spark from a ricochet hit, it started, so it’s just that dry,” Assistant Chief Mike Murphy with West Metro Fire Rescue said.

Citizens are concerned as well.

“We’ve had a lot of calls for smoke investigations and smoke concerns, so if you have a chimney you certainly can’t use that,” Murphy said.

Portable fire pits are also not permitted in counties where a fire ban of open fires is in effect. That means Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Elbert, Garfield and Larimer counties. However, in Jefferson County where a fire ban was reduced to fire restrictions, a Ken Caryl man thought his pit was okay when it was not.

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There are exceptions to the fire bans. Developed campsites with grills or a metal ringed fire pit are acceptable. Officials say it’s a good idea to have a bucket filled with water nearby.

“Throw some water on there, kind of look at it for 15 to 20 minutes and make sure it’s out before you leave,” Murphy said.

There isn’t a uniform set of fire ban rules across the state because fire conditions vary from county to county.

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