Officials prepared to enforce GarCo fireworks ban |

Officials prepared to enforce GarCo fireworks ban

Staff report

position of enforcement by the Garfield county sheriff’s office

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office is concerned about the safety and welfare of all residents of Garfield County. We respect our nation’s Independence Day and everything that means, including the men and women who have fought and died for the very freedoms we enjoy. Because we respect the rights of every individual and are charged with upholding the laws of our state as well as our nation we will be working with area law enforcement officers and first responders to identify sources of all fireworks and people who may be illegally igniting them.

There will be zero tolerance for anyone who ignites any type of fireworks in rural Garfield County and violates this ordinance. Citations will be issued as appropriate.

Furthermore citations will be issued to anyone found to be in the possession of illegal fireworks within any municipality or rural area of Garfield County.

As the use of fireworks remains banned throughout unincorporated parts of Garfield County, officials hoped to clarify the ordinance passed by the county commissioners on June 11 ahead of the Independence Day holiday.

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office will work throughout the week, including both weekends, with other first responders and law enforcement officers on call to ensure that the ban is upheld.

While the use of fireworks is banned in unincorporated Garfield County, the sale of fireworks has not been banned.

“I don’t think it’s our job to interfere with somebody’s legal commerce,” Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario told the Post Independent.

He added that he prefers to manage fireworks from the user end.

While Stage I or Stage II Fire Restrictions have been established throughout the county, legal fireworks are fine to purchase or possess. However, the use of fireworks in unincorporated parts of Garfield County is currently illegal.

The ordinance bans the ignition of all fireworks in unincorporated Garfield County, including all state and private lands, whether the fireworks are legal or illegal. The ban is in effect until the end of fire season as determined by the Garfield County Sheriff.

Anyone who violates the ordinance shall be subject to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 for each separate violation.

Legal fireworks are defined as those that don’t leave the ground, don’t explode or don’t emit fireballs. They may include caps, fountains, ground spinners, smoke bombs, sparkers and small cars or tanks with limited pyrotechnics. Illegal fireworks include firecrackers, mortars, roman candles, bottle rockets, cherry bombs and basically anything that leaves the ground or explodes.

The possession or use of illegal fireworks in Colorado is a class 3 misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $50 to $750 and up to six months in jail. Should you start a fire or be suspected of a fire that causes property damage or death, you will be held responsible for the consequential damage or in the very least be placed in a position of having to pay to defend yourself in a court of law, the press release states.

Additional information will be released if and as necessary.

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