As I drive back and forth from the Front Range to the Western Slope the overhead signs have been posting when there are fire restrictions in place.

Sometimes it’ll say, “Fire Ban in Effect,” sometimes it’ll read, “Stage 1 Fire Ban in Effect,” and other times it’ll say, “Stage 2 Fire Ban in Effect.”

I totally understand why we have the fire restrictions in place, but I’m not sure I know the difference between the three stages. This caused me to reach out to a few of my firemen buddies and ask them to clarify each stage.

STAGE 1

Stage 1 is established when the fire danger is reasonably lower, but fire safety is still a concern for those that go camping, smoke, and other high-risk activities.

1. Prohibits stove fires, camp fires, barbecues grills and charcoal grills.

Exception of secure fire pits or fire grates that are built for recreational sites. Liquid or gas stoves that have shut-off valves

2. No smoking. Exception in vehicle or designated areas

3. Certain chainsaws

4. Torches; welding, acetylene, or and open flame

5. No Explosives

Exceptions are valid persons and permits

STAGE 2

When the fire danger increases from stage 1 this is when stage 2 is generally recognized. Much more intense with the risks involved in activities become more and more limited.

1. Prohibits stove fires, camp fires, barbecues grills and charcoal grills. This includes developed sites, such as, camping and recreational sites

Exception liquid or gas stoves that have shut-off valves

2. No smoking. Exception in vehicle, trailer, or building

3. Certain internal combustion engines; generators, chainsaws, ATV’s

4. Torches; welding, acetylene, or and open flame

5. No Explosives of any kind

Exceptions are valid persons and permits

STAGE 3

This is not a restriction like stage 1 and stage 2. This is a closure stage. This is to prevent any chance of any fires being started whatsoever.

Fire Restrictions in stage one and two have a long list of do’s and don’ts. There is a fire restriction chart available online.

Hopefully, this helps clarify some confusion if there was any. Colorado is too beautiful to not take care of it the best we can. It's truly important for us to be fully aware of what means what.

SOURCE: FIRE RESTRICTION CHART