By Logan Smith

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock has tightened the permissions for potential ignition sources in unincorporated areas of his county on Monday. Douglas County’s fire restrictions are now at Stage 2; open fires, open burning, and the use of fireworks are now banned.

“Due to the extreme fire conditions our community has experienced over the last several days,” Spurlock stated in a news release Monday, “coupled with my ongoing communications with fire science experts and emergency management personnel, I have decided to move into a more restrictive fire ban. Douglas County has had several significant fires within the last week, many that have occurred very close to homes and businesses. This decision, while not an easy one, is made in the interest of the safety of the citizens of Douglas County.”

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The upgrade disallows open fires of any kind, including fires in outdoor fireplaces and campsites, and also fireworks or pyrotechnics of any kind.

Fireworks ignited on Mount Evans. (credit: Nationwide Productions)

Fireworks were ignited illegally at the summit of Mount Evans in September 2019. (credit: CBS)

Still permitted are fires in charcoal grills, gas- or liquid-fueled stoves or appliances, and indoor fireplaces and stoves. Fire departments are also allowed to continue training with active fire.

(credit: CBS)

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Violations of the fire restrictions are punishable by up to a $1,000 fine.

Prior to Monday, Douglas County was at Stage 1 restrictions.

The City of Castle Pines hosted a professional fireworks show on Saturday evening as part of its annual Summer Celebration at Elk Ridge Park. A spokesperson from South Metro Fire Rescue told CBS4 the event would have automatically been canceled under Stage 2 restrictions.

South Metro Fire Rescue crews turned on sprinklers Saturday afternoon to wet down open space vegetation adjacent to Elk Ridge Park in Castle Pines. The city hosted a fireworks show at the park later in the evening. (credit: CBS)

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Four large wildfires are currently burning in Colorado’s high country, all with little or no containment. The hot, dry weather that contributed to the state’s fire-prone conditions is not relenting, either. No significant rainfall is foreseeable in the next two weeks.

Logan Smith