The city and county of Pueblo have implemented tough new fire restrictions.
Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk Taylor says unincorporated areas of the county are now under Stage II fire restrictions. Pueblo Fire Chief Chris Riley has implemented Full High Fire Danger restrictions. Those restrictions mirror the county's Stage II restrictions according to a news release from the sheriff's office.
Effectively immediately, the following rules will be enforced in Pueblo:
- No outdoor welding.
- No outdoor smoking (county only).
- Spark arresters required on all-terrain vehicles and chain saws.
- No personal fireworks sale or use. (Community displays at Pueblo Riverwalk and Pueblo West are slated to continue at this time.)
- No recreational burning (now includes chimineas, backyard fireplaces, barrels and 'tiki' torches)
- No charcoal grills. (*propane grilling is still permitted.)
- No campfires or agricultural burns.
Penalties will include fines, confiscations, and mandatory court appearances.
Taylor has been monitoring the conditions and the fires surrounding Pueblo County closely. "With the exception of two relatively small wildland fires this year, it is true that Pueblo County has been extremely lucky, but much of our rural and mountain communities are as dry as kindling and we can't ignore that. Our fire chiefs are speaking loudly and clearly -- they want this move, now." Taylor said.
"We are fully aware going into a holiday week that the imposition of advanced fire restrictions may put a damper on some plans for the 4th of July," lamented Riley. "But as in past years, the Pueblo community has not only realized the significance of the fire danger, they have stepped up and helped us make it as safe as possible. At this time, the fireworks at the HARP Riverwalk are still scheduled under the strictest of oversight. Please consider taking your family to the Riverwalk event for a safe holiday celebration."