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County commissioners declare fireworks ban


In light of weather forecasts of no significant rainfall, low humidity, and gusting winds for at least the next week, the Chaffee County Board of County Commissioners today issued an order that bans the sale, use, and possession of fireworks throughout the unincorporated areas of Chaffee County, including public, private, state, and applicable federal lands.  The ban will continue in effect until further notice.  The only exception is retailers who have already purchased their product: they may store the items without penalty but sales are prohibited.

Municipalities are not covered by the ban and sales still could be conducted in Salida, Buena Vista, and Poncha Springs.  But use and even possession of fireworks purchased anywhere, within or outside the county, are prohibited in the county’s unincorporated areas and violators could be cited into county court.

Officials in Salida, Buena Vista, and Poncha Springs may choose to enact similar prohibitions in their municipalities.  Fireworks are never permitted in national forests or on Bureau of Land Management properties.

This action was taken reluctantly by the board on the advice of the sheriff who consulted with federal, state, and local fire authorities before making his recommendation.  Chaffee County, as with much of the southwestern US, is experiencing severe drought conditions that are not expected to diminish in the days leading up to the Fourth of July holiday.  The fire danger rating in the county is now VERY HIGH.

Another factor considered by the board is that twelve wildfires are currently being fought throughout Colorado and these require resources that might not be available to our county in the event of a wildfire here.

Current restrictions can be found at www.chaffeesheriff.org  Click on Fire Restrictions for daily updates.