Pitkin County burn ban still in effect | AspenTimes.com

Pitkin County burn ban still in effect

Janet Urquhart
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado

ASPEN – Restrictions on open burning remain in effect in Pitkin County, though fire officials have recently allowed the selected burning of ditches, according to Ed Van Walraven, Aspen fire marshal.

The restrictions on open burning in Eagle County, which includes areas of Basalt, El Jebel and Missouri Heights in the mid-Roaring Fork Valley, were lifted Saturday. Eagle County Sheriff Joe Hoy cited recent wet weather in lifting the fire ban but urged continued caution in the resumption of open burning.

In Pitkin County, Sheriff Joe Disalvo issued a burn ban in early April with support from fire chiefs in Aspen, Snowmass Village, Basalt and Carbondale. It has remained in effect, though officials have permitted some burning of ditches, a springtime ritual to clear the waterways for agricultural purposes.

“Any burning of slash piles is illegal,” Van Walraven said.

As a matter of course, no open burning is allowed in Pitkin County from May 1 to Oct. 31 anyway, the fire marshal noted. That restriction is aimed at the sorts of fires that require a permit.

The restrictions enacted early in April, however, also prohibit:

• Any campfire, warming fire or charcoal grill except those in permanent fire pits or fire grates or located in designated campgrounds, picnic areas or developed recreation sites.

• Smoking except within an enclosed vehicle or building, at a developed recreation site or while stopped in an area of at least 3 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.

• Operating a chain saw without an approved spark-arresting device and in effective working order, without a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher or a shovel.

• Welding or operation of an acetylene or other torch with open flame except within an area that is barren or cleared of all flammable material at least 10 feet on all sides from the equipment.

• Use of any fireworks or explosive requiring fuses or blasting caps.

The burn ban applies to all private and state lands in Pitkin County. Federal lands are exempt.


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