No personal fireworks allowed this 4th of July holiday in Mesa County
STAGE 1 FIRE BAN INFO
• Open burning of any kind.
• Personal use of fireworks.
• On Public Lands, building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire except within a
developed recreation site, or improved site. 36 CFR 261.52(a).
• On Public Lands smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed
recreation site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or
cleared of all flammable materials. 36 CFR 261.52(d).
• On Public Lands operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a
spark-arresting device properly installed, maintained, and in effective working order meeting either the USDA Forest Service Standard 5100-1a (as amended), or appropriate Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) recommended practice J335(b) and J350(a) (36 CFR 261.52(j)).
• Fires within liquid-fueled or gas-fueled stoves, fireplaces within buildings, charcoal grill fires within developed residential or commercial areas, and fires within wood burning stoves.
• Professional fireworks displays permitted according to section 12-28-103 of the C.R.S.
• Fire suppression or fire department training fires.
• Tiki torches, small recreational fires at developed picnic or campground sites contained in
permanent fire pits or fire grates with flame lengths not in excess of four feet and which are supervised by a responsible person at least 21 years of age.
“Causing a fire in woods or prairie during fire restrictions is a class 6 felony and can be punishable by fines of $1,000-$100,000 and/or imprisonment for 12-18 months. Other possible charges include fourth degree arson and intentionally setting wildfire.”
SOURCE: Mesa County Sheriff’s Office June 26 news release
Though considered the epitome of American patriotism, fireworks can be quite dangerous. They cause burns, missing fingers and even forest fires.
And though public fireworks displays throughout the Grand Valley will likely go off without a hitch this Fourth of July holiday, a Stage 1 Fire Restriction for Mesa County is now in effect.
Grand Junction Fire Department Spokesman Mike Page said this restriction bans the use of all personal fireworks.
“Those restrictions do not affect commercial fireworks displays, so as of now our fireworks show on the 4th of July is still moving ahead as scheduled,” City of Grand Junction Spokeswoman Sam Rainguet said in an email.
Page also noted that “it’s a lot cheaper to go to a good fireworks display than set off a bunch of fireworks on a garage pad, and it’s a much better show.”
Sparklers, now banned under the fire restriction, are the most dangerous of fireworks in terms of injury, Page added, and should be handled with care.
“They burn from 1,200 to 1,500 degrees and then we light them and hand them over to 3-year-olds,” Page explained. “When they’re done, the throw them on the ground and step on them. There’s more hospitalizations for that than anything else.”
So, what types of fires are allowed under a Stage 1 restriction?
According to a Mesa County Sheriff’s Office news release, “The restrictions allow fires in government-designated fire pits only, but restrict any open flames and fires in non-approved fire pits.”
The BLM Grand Junction and Colorado River Valley field offices joined the fire restrictions June 27 on all the lands they administer, according to the news release.
However, the higher elevation National Forest System lands in Mesa County have not implemented fire restrictions at this time; conditions on these lands will continue to be monitored.
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