Drought watch: Breckenridge to ban fires and small fireworks

Continued drought prompts Breckenridge to take additional steps to try and avoid a fire start.

Ordinance would enable mayor to ban in-town burning and fires by proclamation

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY —On top of Stage 2 fire restrictions on National Forest lands and a statewide fire ban enacted by Gov. Hickenlooper, the Breckenridge Town Council may vote to give Mayor John Warner the power to ban fires on public and private lands within town limits.

According to police chief Shannon Haynes, the imminent threat of a destructive wildfire justifies the move. In a June 20 memo to the town council, Haynes wrote that extremely dry weather conditions are expected to persist and even worsen in the foreseeable future.

The council will discuss the emergency ordinance at the June 26 meeting. Passing the ordinance would give the mayor to immediately issue a proclamation. The order would be lifted when it’s determined that the severe fire threat has diminished.

The council will also consider a total fireworks ban, including small fireworks like ground spinners, wheels, torches and colored fires, as well as sparklers and roman candles.

Since 2006, the town has allowed a certain class of fireworks in the town between July 3 and July 5. This year, according to a memo from assistant town manager Rick Holman, the fire danger is simply too great to allow even such modest backyard displays.

One small spark in the wrong place could have disastrous consequences, so town staff is presenting an ordinance that would prohibit the possession and use of permissible fireworks from July 3, 2012 through July 5, 2012 based on the high-risk fire danger currently being experienced in Summit County. The current ordinance already prohibits the possession and use of all fireworks on all other days.




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