Leaving a campfire unattended in a forested or grassland area can now elicit a $750 fine and a maximum sentence of 6 months imprisonment per a new Colorado law, one of a handful that went into effect July 1.
The new law states: "Any person who starts or maintains a campfire commits the offense of leaving a campfire unattended if he or she knowingly or recklessly:
- Fails to reasonably attend the campfire at all times; or
- Fails to thoroughly extinguish the campfire before leaving the site."
People who leave them unattended anywhere else in the state can be fined up to $50.
The bill comes as wildfires continue to burn throughout the state, the largest being the Spring Fire, which began June 27 and is located just east of Fort Garland.
Other laws that went into effect today include:
- A bill allowing for the continuation of the Colorado Civil Rights Division, and also providing $1.6 million in funding.
- A bill directing peace officers to remove a person from a residential premise if the owner swears that the person does not have authority to be there.
- A bill criminalizing an act of false reporting to authorities that includes a false report of an imminent threat to the safety of a person or persons by use of a deadly weapon.
- A bill clarifying the scope of "revenge pornography" crimes.
- A bill establishing a definition of "competent to proceed" and "incompetent to proceed" for juveniles involved in the justice system.
Colorado's fiscal budget for 2018-19 is also in effect.