Standing Fire Restrictions (see flow chart)
In the Estes Valley, the following restrictions are in place AT ALL TIMES:
The fuel pile may not exceed 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in
height (fuel, not flame length) (IFC 307.4)
Recreational fires must be at least 25 feet away from a
structure (IFC 307.4.2)
Fires in an approved container must be at least 15 feet away
from a structure (IFC 307.4.3)
Fires must be constantly attended until extinguished
Attendant must have a mechanism to extinguish the fire
The following items are prohibited for recreational burning
Routine yard and garden clean-up waste
Materials that produce excessive smoke (cattails, plastic, etc.)
See below for Firework Restrictions
Deviation from these restrictions required a permit from Larimer County approved by the Fire District
Current Fire Restrictions (last updated August 10, 2021)
Please refer to each agency's website for most current information. If you are covered by two districts with differing restrictions (e.g. Estes Valley Fire and Unincorporated Larimer County), the highest level of restrictions apply.
ESTES VALLEY FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT: None (see above)
Am I in the Estes Valley? Map of the Estes Valley Fire District
Unincorporated Larimer County Additional Restrictions: None
State of Colorado Additional Restrictions: None
Rocky Mountain National Park (west of Estes Valley): Stage 1 (permanent)
Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forest (north/east/south of Estes Valley):
Boulder County (south of Estes Valley): Check website
How Is The Need For Restrictions Determined?
In Larimer County, we utilize a decision matrix to assess key risk factors for our area. The full matrix that covers all portions of the County can be viewed on the Fort Collins Interagency Dispatch Center Website. Below is the excerpt for Estes Park.
Restrictions are considered when at least three criteria are met. Bans require at least four criteria to be met. You can locate the source data for each criteria here:
Who decides to enter (or exit) restrictions?
The authority to enter or exit restrictions varies by agency. For Fire Protection Districts that have adopted the International Fire Code, such as Estes Valley Fire Protection District, the authority rests in the Fire Chief. This authority is granted through the Fire Code which was then accepted by resolution by both the Board of the Town of Estes Park and Larimer County Board of County Commissioners. The complete set of documents can be found here.
Restrictions in unincorporated Larimer County outside of a Fire Protection District is decided by the Board of County Commissioners. The Larimer County BCC meets every Tuesday, so fire restrictions are considered at these regularly scheduled meetings. This varies by County, as Boulder County grants this authority directly to the Sheriff.
Fire Districts in Larimer County do their best to stay in alignment on the level of restrictions with Larimer County to reduce confusion. We also attempt to enter/exit restrictions as few times as possible per Summer to aid residents and guests on keeping track of there are additional restrictions.
What about fireworks?
All firework permits for display need to be issued by the Estes Valley Fire Protection District and need to be in accordance with the 2018 International Fire Code.
Fireworks that are always illegal to use in Colorado (except for
professional and public displays) are:
Rockets (including bottle rockets)
Mortars and similar items, such as M-80's
The types of fireworks that are permissible in Colorado are:
Non-explosive fireworks that are not intended to leave the ground
Novelty fireworks, such as party poppers
Town of Estes Park Municipal Code 9.10.010 Definitions:
(1) Fireworks means any article, device or substance prepared for the
primary purpose of producing a visual or auditory sensation by
combustion, explosion, deflagration or detonation, including, without
limitation, the following articles and devices commonly known and used
as fireworks: toy cannons, or toy canes in which explosives are used,
blank cartridges, the type of balloon which requires fire underneath to
propel it, firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets, rockets, Roman candles,
dayglo bombs and torches, or other fireworks of like construction and
any fireworks containing any explosive or flammable compound, or any
tablets or other device containing any explosive substance.
(2) Fireworks does not include:
a. Toy caps which do not contain more than twenty-five-hundredths (.25) of a grain of explosive compound per cap;
b. Sparklers, trick matches, cigarette loads, trick noisemakers, toy smoke devices and novelty auto alarms; or
c. Highway flares, railway fuses, ship distress signals, smoke candles and other emergency signal devices. (Ord. 2-84 &2(part), 1984)