DENVER – A fire ban is now in effect for all of Lakewood’s open space parks due to continuous fire danger in Jefferson County.
Fires of any kind, including charcoal grills, portable fire pits or use of designated fire rings or permanent grills, as well as use of model rockets, and smoking – unless in an enclosed structure or vehicle or within an area 6 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all combustible material – are now banned until further notice, city officials said in a news release Monday.
Liquid or gas-fueled grills, stoves or lanterns with shut off valves are still allowed under the city’s fire ban.
The open space parks affected are Bear Creek Lake Park and Bear Creek Greenbelt, Thunder Valley Park and William Frederick Hayden Park.
The ban is in response to Stage 2 fire restrictions across Jefferson County, which were enacted on April 20 in response to high fire danger and “extremely dangerous” fire conditions due to high temperatures and strong wind gusts last Friday.
By Friday night, seven wildfires had sparked across Colorado amid windy and dry conditions.
Earlier that day, state officials provided their annual wildfire forecast, which predicted above normal significant wildland fire potential in many areas of the state during the springs and into summer.
The latest map for Colorado from the US Drought Monitor shows 87% of the state is experiencing moderate or worse drought and 33% is experiencing severe drought or worse drought.
As of Monday, the statewide snowpack is 83% of median.
A quick melt-off of the snowpack combined with a lack of precipitation in the spring and early summer would create worsening drought conditions and drier fuels that would be conducive to more fire starts and fires that could burn faster.