Governor bans open burning, home fireworks

12:41 AM, Jun 15, 2012   |    comments
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 Read Fire Ban Order here

The vast majority of Colorado's counties already had fire restrictions laid down by local officials tailored to local conditions. The Governor says a statewide order was needed for consistency and clarity for the public.

Fifteen counties have low or moderate fire risk. Morgan County where Sheriff Jim Crone says he'd prefer more local flexibility on agricultural burns.

"We've had a little less restrictions on our ag folks so that we could make sure we still have food on our table," Crone said.

Bent County Sheriff David Encinias said the locals can "take care of it rather than have the Governor do it for us."

"I don't deny that the counties are always going to make a better decision," the governor said during Thursday press conference. "This is a local control state, and I embrace that. At this moment in time, we have fires all over the state."

9NEWS looked, and only one of the state's 10 largest wildfires in history was caused by an out-of-control burn. Seven were caused by lightning.

"We can't guarantee that there will be zero fires, but we're going to do everything in our power to make sure that every fire that we can intercept and stop... that we do that." Hickenlooper said.

This ban covers campfires, except in permanent pits; charcoal grills, except on private property; and amateur fireworks. Professional fireworks displays and agricultural burns must be approved by local sheriffs.

"This is not the time to be quibbling," the governor said. "We want everybody in the state to be very conscious, that they've gotta be extra careful."

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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