Let cool heads prevail: Impose summer fire ban | PostIndependent.com

Let cool heads prevail: Impose summer fire ban

Gov. Bill Owens and Garfield County emergency planner Guy Meyer have both called for a summer-long fire ban.

Owens is seeking a ban that would blanket the state, Meyer has called for a county-wide ban from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Both cite the extremely dry conditions in the state this spring, disastrous fires on the Front Range, and the fear of worse to come this summer.

Critics say government agencies are crying wolf, and should impose fire bans only when and where they are truly warranted.

This newspaper believes Owens and Meyer are on the right track.

It would be far better to automatically impose a statewide, summer-long fire ban each and every year, as a default, to raise fire safety awareness.

County officials could lift the ban if weather conditions permit, but residents should understand that when in doubt, the match goes out.

A statewide, summer-long fire ban won’t stop all fires. Lightning ignites many fires, and last week a riding lawn mower caught fire in the Black Forest near Colorado Springs, sparking a fire that spread over 64 acres.

But human-caused fires usually do the most damage to property. If an annual fire ban can become common knowledge, some of these fires could be prevented.

– Heather McGregor, Managing Editor

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