Outdoor Burning Guidelines

Due to current and forecasted conditions, the Colorado Springs Fire Department (CSFD), by and through the Division of the Fire Marshal, has determined that risks inherent to structure, grassland, and forest fires have reduced. Therefore:

Effective July 27, 2018, at 1200 hours (MDT), City of Colorado Springs rescinds June 8, 2018’s Burn Restriction Order.

Guidelines for Bonfires, Open Burning, Recreational Fires, Consumer Fireworks, Burn Restrictions and Burn Bans

Guidelines

Bonfires

A bonfire is an outdoor fire greater than 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in height, utilized for any religious, celebratory or similar purpose as outlined in the 2015 International Fire Code Section 307.4.1. All bonfires require a permit from the Division of the Fire Marshal. Permitted bonfires must be at least 50 feet away from a structure or combustible materials and must not at any point move any closer to the structure than the stated 50-foot distance. Bonfires shall be constructed of solid wood products and void of any trash, debris or rubbish.

Note: bonfire permits will not be issued during burn restrictions or burn bans.

Open Burning

Open burning is NOT allowed within the City of Colorado Springs. Examples of fires that are classified as open burning are ditch burning, fires used for silviculture (forestry purposes), range or wildlife management, the prevention and or control of disease or pests, or wildfire risk reduction.

Only city, county, state and federal agencies with an approved Prescribed Burn Plan and Hazardous Activity Permit are allowed to conduct this type of activity.

Recreational Fires

Recreational fires are allowed within the City of Colorado Springs in accordance with the guidelines outlined below and in the absence of a burn restriction or burn ban. A recreational fire is an outdoor fire where materials other than rubbish are being burned and it is not contained in a contained incinerator, outdoor fireplace, portable outdoor fireplace, barbeque grill or barbeque pit. The 2015 International Fire Code 302 defines these fires as being intended for cooking, warmth, religious, pleasure, ceremonial or other special purposes. They must not have a total fuel area greater than 3 feet in diameter and must be 2 feet or less in height.

This type of fire must be at least 25 feet away from a structure or combustible materials and must not at any point move any closer to the structure than the stated 25 foot distance.

Fireplaces / Fire Pits

Portable or fixed outdoor fireplaces (wood, propane or natural gas) must be at least 15 feet away from a structure or combustible materials except for 1-and 2-family dwellings. However, during a burn ban ALL solid fuels (such as wood or charcoal) are prohibited.

Fire Pits

Consumer Fireworks

All types of fireworks with a fuse and or requiring a flame for ignition are ILLEGAL in Colorado Springs. Only novelty items (snappers and poppers) are allowed. Possession, use, and or the sale of fireworks is subject to a violation of Fire and City Code. A fire started by fireworks that threatens or damages property is a crime of Arson.

6.6.204: Designation of Smoking Areas in City Parks and Open Spaces

All city park property is hereby declared to be a nonsmoking area unless the Manager of the Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services Department designates areas on or in park property where smoking is not prohibited. In those cases, any designated smoking areas shall be clearly identified and receptacles for the disposal of used smoking materials shall be provided. (Ord. 13-46)

Misuse of Fire

Any misuse of fire or non-permitted ignitions that causes, threatens, or damages property is subject to violation of City and Fire Code and potential arson charges. Person(s) in violation of city code could be subject to a fine of $2,500 or 189 days in jail. All permitted requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Division of the Fire Marshal in accordance with City Code.

Enacting Burn Restrictions and Burn Bans

The Fire Marshal has the authority to enact a burn restriction or burn ban for the City of Colorado Springs. Criteria used to determine when these conditions are initiated include: weather, fuel moistures, cooperator status, local and regional fire activity and national preparedness levels (which influences suppression aircraft availability). These elements are closely monitored by the Wildfire Mitigation Administrator and Fire Marshal. When predetermined criteria are met the appropriate condition is implemented. Immediate public notifications are made to the media through press releases and on the city website of such orders. The chart below outlines what is allowed during burn restrictions and burn bans:

Products

Burn Restrictions

Burn Ban

Blasting, Welding & Torches

Yes, by permit ONLY

Yes, by permit ONLY

Bonfires

No

No

Model Rockets

Yes, by permit ONLY

No

Open / Prescribed Burning

No

No

Outdoor Smoking

Yes, in designated areas; smoking materials must be disposed of in a non-combustible container

NO SMOKING IN ANY CITY PARKS/OPEN SPACES

Yes, in designated areas; smoking materials must be disposed of in a non-combustible container

NO SMOKING IN ANY CITY PARKS/OPEN SPACES

Recreational Fires

No

No

Fireplaces (portable & fixed)

Yes, if fueled by wood, pel-lets, charcoal (must have a spark arrestors with these types of fuels) or gas

Yes, only if fueled by liquid propane gas (LPG)

Outdoor Cooking

Yes

Yes, only if fueled by liquid propane gas (LPG) or natural gas

Burn Restriction and Burn Ban Penalties

Person(s) failing to comply with a burn restriction or burn ban shall be punished in accordance with the general penalty of the Code of the City of Colorado Springs as amended (1.1.201). A careless fire that threatens or damages property is arson and shall be prosecuted as such.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can city residents burn leaves or trash outdoors? No, this is an illegal activity. Violations should be reported to the CSFD Division of the Fire Marshal @ 385-5978.

2. Is burning trash in a fireplace allowed in the city? No, the burning of debris, rubbish, or trash is not allowed.