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Know before you go: Fire bans in place in Colorado
Thanks to a winter with dismal snowpack and a hot, dry spring, conditions are ripe for wildfires in Colorado.
Read about the High Park fire burning in Larimer County.
Many national forests and counties have enacted fire bans to reduce the risk.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has restrictions in place on the Western Slope.
There are no restrictions in the Pike and San Isabel national forests.
Stage 1 means fires are allowed only in established fire grates in developed campgrounds. Fires are not allowed in the backcountry or the free pull-off campsites that line many forest roads.
Many counties, including Park and Teller counties, have also banned fires on private land.
Violating a fire ban can cost you hundreds of dollars in fines. But that's nothing compared to the cost of accidentally starting a forest fire, as this Fort Collins man could learn.
So be safe with fires out there. Keep them small, have plenty of water handy and drown the fire afterward until the coals are cool to the touch.
Fire restrictions from Colorado state parks
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials are strictly enforcing fire bans and monitoring fires in state parks and wildlife areas.
All fires, including those in pits and grills, have been banned in 14 counties. All bans and restrictions apply in state parks and wildlife areas.
Counties with fire bans that impact state parks:
* Adams County: Barr Lake State Park
* Arapahoe County: Cherry Creek State Park
* Boulder County: Eldorado Canyon State Park
* Clear Creek County
* Douglas County: Castlewood Canyon and Roxborough state parks
* Elbert County
* Gilpin County: Golden Gate Canyon State Park
* Grand County
* Hinsdale County
* Jackson County: State Forest State Park
* Jefferson County: Chatfied and Staunton state parks
* Phillips County
* Pitkin County
* Washington County
"When you are heading out to go camping, fishing or any recreational activity, please check with the state park, forest or land management agency where you are going for current fire conditions," said Gary Thorson, Colorado Parks and Wildlife assistant director for information and education. "Because of the hot and dry weather, any fire or ignition source can create the risk of wildfire."
Please follow these guidelines even in area where there are no restrictions or bans:
* Do not leave fires unattended or allow them to burn outside the fire ring.
* Be sure to extinguish all fires completely. Check for embers and repeatedly douse fires with water.
* Put out cigarettes and dispose of them safely.