Leaving a campfire unattended in Colorado grasslands or forests could land you in jail under new measure | AspenTimes.com

Leaving a campfire unattended in Colorado grasslands or forests could land you in jail under new measure

Campfires have ignited some of Colorado’s most costly and expansive wildfires

Jesse Paul
The Denver Post

The Peak 2 wildfire near Breckenridge on July 5.

Leaving a campfire unattended in Colorado could have more serious consequences under a bill that passed the Democratic-controlled House on Wednesday as lawmakers work to prevent a leading — and preventable — cause of wildfires.

House Bill 1051 would change the crime of leaving a campfire unattended in any grasslands or forests from a Class 2 petty offense to a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Under current law, violators face a $50 fine. If the legislation passes the Republican-controlled Senate, the new penalty would be a fine ranging from $50 to $750, a maximum of six months in jail or both.

The bill passed the House 60-1, with four state representatives excused.

"This legislation is an essential tool in the fight against devastating wildfires that cause significant property, economic and environmental damage to our beautiful forests," said Rep. Millie Hamner, D-Dillon, who sponsored the bill alongside Rep. Terri Carver, R-Colorado Springs. "Wildfires also endanger our communities, and we should be doing everything we can to prevent them."

Read the full story from The Denver Post.

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