Several local fire agencies enacted burn restrictions Monday in Colorado Springs, El Paso County and Manitou Springs.
Dry conditions, including drought and arid vegetation, plus a spike in grass fires, prompted the burn restrictions, the Colorado Springs Fire Department, El Paso County Sheriff's Office and Manitou Springs Fire Department said.
The Colorado Springs Fire Department restrictions prohibits any fire in "undeveloped wildland areas." That means, no recreational fires, bonfires, smoking in city parks or use of internal combustion engines without a spark arrestor.
Model rockets, welding and commercial activities with permission from the fire department are allowed, as well as outdoor smoking in designated areas.
Outdoor fireplaces and cooking devices with wood, pellets, charcoal, propane, fuel or natural gas are allowed within "developed areas" as long as they are supervised, 15 feet away from vegetation and structures and within reach of a fire extinguisher.
The penalty for violating the burn order could include a $2,500 fine, jail time less than 189 days, probation or a combination of the three penalties, the order stated.
El Paso County and Manitou Springs limited fires and campfires to those with permanent grates in developed areas or private residences, the agencies said. Smoking is also limited to indoor buildings vehicles and developed recreation cites in El Paso County. In Manitou, smoke is limited to indoor buildings and along Manitou Avenue.
"Discarding of a lighted cigarette, cigar or pipe tobacco products is strictly prohibited," Manitou's fire restrictions stated.
Fireworks and burning trash are banned at all times in Colorado Springs and El Paso County, the agencies said.
Those who violate El Paso County's burn restriction could also face fines, the agency said.
The Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs restrictions are to take effect at noon Monday and El Paso County's restrictions take effect immediately, the agencies said..