JeffCo Open Space Parks under a Stage 2 fire ban: What that means

9NEWS' Eddie Randle walks you through the different stages of fire bans and what they mean for you.

As fires continue to pop up and conditions remain hot and dry, restrictions on what you can and can't do at Jefferson County Open Space Parks are changing.

As of 5 Friday evening, all 29 of their parks are under a Stage 2 ban.

The Stage 2 ban means no campfires, no charcoal or wood grilling, you can't even smoke a cigarette outside unless you are inside of your car -- rangers say the rules are meant to keep everyone safe -- 9NEWS stopped hikers and bikers to find out what they think about the upgrade.

Mountain bikers like Todd Maus enjoy the beautiful recreational parks and trails in Jefferson County. And he wants them to stay that way so he's on board with JeffCo Open Sspace Parks upgrading to a Stage 2 fire ban.

“This place is dry and we haven't had any moisture for quite a long time and we need to be careful and it just makes common sense for people to have fire bans,” Maus says.

Park Ranger Mark Dargatz says they are basing the upgrade on current weather conditions.

In Stage 2, there are no fires of any kind allowed; when it comes to grilling if you can't turn it off then you can't do it, and there are also rules for those who like to light up.

“If you are going to smoke a cigarette it needs to be in your vehicle or an enclosed building, that allows that,” Dargatz said.

“It can be devastating: all it takes is one cigarette and this stuff," Maus says. "It's tender, it is so dry out there, so we all got to be careful and watch out for each other.”

Breckenridge had at least four unattended camp fires reported this week.

It's those on the fire line fighting that Brent Rollins thinks about.

“My brother is a fireman,” Rollins said. He's on board with the ban increase. “Every time he is dispatched to a fire it kind of hits home.”

Jefferson County Open Space Parks is not putting a time limit on the ban they say it will remain in effect until the weather conditions change, something those who use the park are okay with.

“It's just common sense so I can't think that many people would upset with it,” Maus said.

Park Rangers say they want to protect the parks and the visitors who come so they will have rangers patrolling looking for violators.

Anyone caught will get a $200 ticket from JeffCo Open Space Parks and they could be subject to additional fines and punishment from the county.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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